PHUKET: Those new to the island – relatively speaking – might not have the visceral churning in their guts when they hear the name ‘TTVI center’. However, island residents who were here at least a decade ago know that TTVI stands for Thai Tsunami Victim Identification.
The center was tasked with identifying 3,777 of the bodies recovered from the six tsunami-affected provinces. As of October 8, 2005, a total of 2,363 of the bodies were identified (619 Thais and 1,744 foreigners), which left no postmortem resolution for 1,414 people who had families and lived somewhere in the world before that day. (This of course doesn’t even take into account those whose bodies were never recovered.)
The TTVI center took the front page of the Phuket Gazette issue covering it ten years ago because the center was to be closed before the 1st year anniversary of the disaster, and the unclaimed bodies were to be turned over to the Justice Ministry’s Central Institute of Forensic Science. Such news is yet another way of helping those of us who came after the tsunami to attempt to understand the impact – emotional, physical, logistical and bureaucratic – of the waves.
The Gazette‘s inside story that issue, however, looked at the tsunami from a less stark and logistical perspective and more of an artisan one. It was that week that the Gazette explored a 25-piece modern art installation entitled ‘Post-Tsunami Solidarity through Eyes of Artists’, which had popped up on the once-again-pristine Patong Beach.
The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture felt that the exhibition would be a healing force that would boost locals’ self-esteem. Was it successful or not? If you remember it – write to us and let us know.
It really was a tsunami packed issue as the Gazette went on to cover Andrew Hewett’s work in spearheading the cleanup of the waters around Phi Phi following the nearly complete destruction of all man-made structures on that island on Boxing Day.
The Phi Phi Dive Camp completed the first stage of its project on August 14 with nearly 9,000 people helping to remove 250 tonnes of debris from the water and beaches. In total, 2,500 divers made about 7,500 dives as part of the cleanup.
Although the first Go Eco Phuket cleanup smashed records in 2012 for the amount of rubbish they picked up on a single day – it would have been only a drop in the bucket when compared to the sustained efforts of the Phi Phi Dive Camp. Ten years later, Mr Hewett and The Adventure Club continue to work with local officials on marine conservation projects in the area.
To read the entire October 1-7, 2005 issue, check out the Gazette archives online (here) – or, for those who have been around a while, start cleaning out the attic.
— Isaac Stone Simonelli
‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people
On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.
From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.
The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.
One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.
There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.
This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.
This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.
The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations
PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com
In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.
But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.
Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.
In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.
The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.
By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.
Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.
You can read the full list HERE.
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works
The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.
The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.
The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.
Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.
As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.
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