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Asean summit not coming to Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Asean summit not coming to Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: The 15th Asean Summit meeting in October will take place in the twin resorts of Cha-am and Hua Hin, not Phuket, the government has confirmed.

Suthep Thaugsuban, deputy prime minister in charge of security issues, confirmed the decision this morning.

With the island’s successful hosting of the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meetings at the Laguna Phuket resort complex in Cherng Talay last month, all seemed on course for the Asean summit to take place in Phuket.

That changed on Thursday, when Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said the proceedings would be moved to the twin resorts of Cha-am and Hua Hin, on the Gulf Coast.

Mr Kasit cited the fact that the summit coincides with Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival, from October 18 to 26 this year, as a reason for the change.

Two days later, however, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the move had not been finalized and that the government would name the location ‘later this week’.

This morning, Mr Suthep finally confirmed Hua Hin and Cha-am as host venues for the event, set to take place from October 23 to 25.

The Foreign Ministry, which is responsible for planning the summit, cited the successful hosting of the 14th Asean Summit earlier this year as proof that the resort town could provide adequate security.

That summit was moved to Hua Hin from Bangkok by the government out of fear that red-shirt protesters on the streets of the capital could disrupt the proceedings.

Security officers have confirmed Hua Hin’s readiness to host the 15th summit, he said.

The fact that Royal Thai Police security experts toured Phuket was never a guarantee that the island would be named as the summit host, he said.

The issue was a hot topic at a press conference given by Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday morning.

“In the meeting with officials on Sunday night, the prime minister said Pattaya was also vying to host the proceedings, but that Asean members had lost confidence in that town. Also, it was mentioned that Hua Hin is not a very international destination,” Gov Wichai told the press.

The 15th Asean Summit, scheduled to take place in Pattaya over the Songkran holidays in April, had to be aborted when red-shirted anti-government protesters stormed the host venue, with some delegates needing to be airlifted to safety from its roof.

Gov Wichai admitted that hosting the Asean summit during the Vegetarian Festival would have been problematic due to large crowds, traffic and the widespread use of firecrackers during street processions.

Noting the bomb scare at Ao Por during the Asean Ministers’ Meeting, Gov Wichai said the proliferation of firecrackers on the island during the festival could cause headaches given the highly sensitive explosive detection technology used for security.

Sethaphan Buddhani, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand South Region 4 office in Phuket, agreed.

“It’s a shame that the Asean summit could not be hosted by Phuket, as it would have been of great benefit to the province. We asked Asean secretary general Surin Pitsuwan to postpone the conference, but the schedule was already set and foreign delegates had already confirmed their attendance on those days,” he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo & Nation reporters

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

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.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

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.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

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.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

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.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

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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