PHUKET: In a hastily arranged press conference, the Ministry of Interior has announced a month-long ban of alcohol sales throughout Phuket, effective today.
Vice Minister Dumwrong Raknaa told the Gazette that the booze ban will, in one clean swoop, further the Ministry’s dual aims of celebrating the nation’s return to democracy and promoting traditional Thai values.
As Thailand’s face to the world, Phuket will be an important testing ground for a possible nationwide trial prohibition period of 90 days, tentatively scheduled to kick off on New Year’s Eve 2008.
Asked why the ban would be imposed coinciding with the usually boisterous Songkran Festival celebrations, V/Min Dumwrong said, “Tourists don’t want to see people drinking, throwing water around or having uncontrolled fun. This is as important to the development of the country as the One Tambon One Product initiative. In fact, we’d like to call this our One Village One Vice project.”
A number of alternative activities are being planned. “People who would normally while away their time and liver tissue by drinking are invited to learn about our great cultural traditions, such as fruit carving and basket weaving,” he said.
Free activity stations will be set up along Soi Bangla, Soi Paradise and other major nightlife entertainment areas, he added.
Police spokesman Col Onanong “On” Thetake said police welcomed the move. “We were suffering from crackdown confusion. We kept getting the days mixed up regarding when we were supposed to enforce alcohol bans during election periods, what time of day retailers were allowed to sell alcohol, closing times on bars and pubs….” he said.
“Running the ban continuously for 30 days will eliminate any further confusion on all these issues,” he added.
Coinciding with the ban is an announcement declaring a national April Fuel Day, during which all citizens will be encouraged to save energy and support alternative fuel initiatives.
Bar owners in particular are urged to contribute to the program by donating stockpiles of unconsumed beer, wine and spirits to the Ministry, for conversion into fuel.
Several Patong Municipality officials have already volunteered to handle the collection of alcohol donations. Pickup trucks will be stationed at collection points along the beach road, Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd and Soi Bangla. The vehicles will be readily identifiable by their blue flashing undercarriage lights and dark windows.
Club & Restaurant Association of Patong (CRAP) spokesperson Lars DeWindger said, “This is an outrage. The only way these guys are getting any of my beer is by prying the bottle out of my cold, dead hand!”
He added that he was planning to organize street protests in the heart of Patong.
“There will be placards. Marching bar girls, angry club owners and more fuming katoey than have ever been assembled in one place at one time will come together as one to demand fairness. Our traditional way of life is being put at risk,” he said.
‘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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