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FIVB Beach Volleyball returns to Phuket – for now

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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FIVB Beach Volleyball returns to Phuket – for now | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The 6th Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is set to make Karon Beach its stage again this year, starting November 1, despite the possibility of the event moving elsewhere in the future due to a lack of funding from Phuket, organizers say.

The Phuket Thailand Open, which is a women’s tournament, has been growing in popularity and scope, with tourists filling the stands and inter-school and inter-hotel satellite competitions running in conjunction.

Geoffrey Rowe, managing director of event organizers Pentangle Promotions, explained to the Phuket Gazette that a change in venue was not possible because of timing restrictions set by the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB).

“Every year, I have to go to a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the head office of the FIVB, one to two weeks after our [Thailand] tournament. If I’m not ready to change the venue by then, they won’t let me change it,” Mr Rowe said.

Changing the venue was not a simple process, as FIVB requires a large amount of information to be presented which, if not ready in time for the meeting, means changing the venue would not be possible, Mr Rowe explained.

Asked whether the event would remain in Phuket, Mr Rowe described the island as an ideal venue, but remained uncertain about the future.

“At the moment we have no final decision [about] where the event will go in 2012. It is a big event. Many people are interested in taking the event to their province, or even to other countries in the region. We are still considering it,” he said.

“We have an agreement with the FIVB until next year. So, next year we will decide whether to continue here or not. It is like an evaluation to consider whether it is worthwhile.

“For us, financially, it is not very good. It costs a lot of money and it is quite hard in Phuket because most of the spectators are foreign people. So, sometimes it is hard to get sponsors because they are looking for the Thai audience,” he said.

“I’m not sure whether Phuket really wants the event. I get the feeling that Phuket has enough [events] already, and that it is not necessary to have another big event. It really depends on if they really want it or not.

“Phuket is the best venue, which is why we have been using the location. But if they don’t really want it, what is the point of us doing it in Phuket?” he added.

The “Phuket Thailand Open Powered by PTT” 2011 is set to be held on November 1-6 with up to 25 of the world’s top-ranked women’s teams competing.

Total prize money is US$190,000 (more than 5.6 million baht).

Mr Rowe was optimistic about attendance and the benefits the event would bring to Phuket’s economy.

“The reception of the audience [last year] was great. Six thousand people attended the final rounds on center court each day for the last two days,” Mr Rowe said.

As Thailand is the last stop on the 16-event tour, many players stay after the event is over and holiday here with family and friends, he said.

Mr Rowe estimated that the event generated 25 million baht in visitor spending last year.

The Phuket Gazette is a proud sponsor of the Phuket Thailand Open.

— Janpen Upatising

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

Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

Maya Taylor

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97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers who worked extra shifts during the crisis. The case was assigned by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk in November, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police on the southern island of Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a mistake (in his favour), with the officer in question receiving a warning, and payments then made to the qualifying officers.

Wissanu Prasatthong-Osot from the National Internal Affairs Police says the investigation should reach a conclusion within the next 10 days.

“The result of the investigation should be ready in 10 days. Currently, 97 officers in 41 police stations ranging from non-commissioned to generals are under investigation for being involved in the swindle. The bureau aims to provide justice to all policemen involved. After the investigation concludes, the victims will receive their full allowance, while the offending officers will be punished under the law and disciplinary standards.”

Nation Thailand reports that a full list of alleged offenders has been sent to Suwat, with Wissanu promising that none will escape prosecution.

“The National Police chief had also ordered the transfer of offending officers at the commander and sub-commander levels out of their areas as per the investigation procedures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

A tourism route from Guangzhou, China to Phuket could help the island province recover from the recession brought on by the pandemic and lack of foreign travel, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The president of the organisation, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, says they plan to submit a letter proposing the route under a travel bubble scheme to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is proposing a travel bubble with around 20 cities in China with no recent coronavirus infections and considered to be at a low risk of spreading the virus. Travellers from Guangzhou recently entered Thailand on the new Special Tourist Visa. It was the second flight of international tourists since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

“We believe that the Travel Bubble and the quarantine reduction will resolve the tourism business, which is a huge economic opportunity to recover.”

Once a vaccine is widely available, Narongsak suggests that those who wish to Thailand could also present their vaccination certificate or examination reports from the place of origin. He adds that the mandatory state quarantine period is likely to be reduced.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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