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British embassy rolls out passport extensions

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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British embassy rolls out passport extensions | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The British Embassy in Bangkok has announced that it will begin conducting appointments on Monday so that British nationals in need of an extension to their current passport can be issued them.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) in London is dealing with the highest demand for passports in 12 years and has issued more than three million passports so far in 2014.

The heightened demand prompted Home Secretary Theresa May to roll out a slew of temporary measures earlier this month to relieve the pressure on HMPO staff (story here).

Following the June 12 announcement that British embassies will be processing applications for 12-month extensions to the validity of British passports (story here), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has now confirmed details of how to access the additional services being provided to British nationals overseas.

“British nationals living overseas whose passports have expired within the last six months, or are due to expire in the next three months – or seven months if they are in or going to a country that requires travellers to have six months left on their passport – can now have their passport extended for 12 months with an official stamp in their existing passport,” noted a statement issued by the FCO this week.

“This requires a minimum of three blank pages in the passport. Those who are eligible should contact their nearest Embassy or Consulate to make an appointment for this service.”

There will be no charge for the passport extension, the notice read.

Applicants will need to bring their existing passport and complete an application form.

“Appointments are essential,” said the notice.

“We will check eligibility and confirm that the relevant country has agreed to accept passports extended in this way. Bookings for appointments are being taken now, and appointments will be available from June 23, or as soon as we have received confirmation from the host country [the applicant will be travelling to] that they will accept the validity of passports extended in this way.”

However, those who have already applied to have their passport renewed cannot get an extension in their current passport, even if they still have their passport with them.

“Those who need to travel urgently may be able to apply for an Emergency Travel Document. Customers should contact their nearest Embassy or High Commission to check if they are eligible,” advised the embassy.

“Customers whose passports have recently been lost or stolen can apply for an Emergency Travel Document as usual.”

Parents or guardians of children living overseas who wish to travel may be able to apply for an emergency travel document in place of both new (first time) passport and passport renewals for their children.

“Applicants will need to provide the same information as when applying for a passport for a child if the child has not held a British passport before,” the embassy explained.

“In most cases, we will also ask customers to provide evidence that all those who have parental responsibility for the child agree to apply for an Emergency Travel Document for the purpose of the proposed travel, or provide evidence that they have sole responsibility for the child, such as a court order.

“Customers can then follow instructions to apply for an Emergency Travel Document.”

For more details, visit the FCO website (click here and here).

Meanwhile, the Passport Office in London has extended operating hours for its Advice Line, which now has staff answering calls from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

“They hope that the additional resources and increased hours will improve the service for costumers both in the UK and overseas,” the embassy posted on Facebook (click here).

For Advice Line contact details, click here.

The British Embassy in Bangkok is located at 14 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan,
Bangkok 1033, and may be contacted via the following formats:
Tel: 02-3058333.
Fax: 02-2559278
Email: Info.Bangkok@fco.gov.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ukinthailand
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ukinthailand
Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-bangkok

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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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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