PHUKET: The Ferrari 488 Spider officially made its debut in Phuket – its first appearance in Southeast Asia – following the premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September.
The Ferrari 488 is the latest chapter in Maranello’s ongoing history of open-top V8 sports cars, a story that started with the targa-top version of the 308 GTB – the immortal 308 GTS – and which ultimately resulted in the full convertible Spider architecture.
The replacement for the Ferrari 458 was showcased in ‘Blu Corsa’ rather than classic Ferrari Red at the JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa on Friday. The metallic particles suspended in the Blu Corsa paint have an unusual iridescent effect that is created by the two-layer paintwork.
“We are choosing it for Phuket as we are by the sea. And it also reflects that freedom and lifestyle and leisure [associated with Ferrari],” Dieter Knechtel, Ferrari Far East managing director, told the Phuket Gazette.
The launch represents preparation to enter the model in the five Southeast Asian markets that Ferrari operates in late next year.
“Thailand is a great place to come for Ferrari. We have a very strong partner here [Cavallino Motors Co Ltd] that is very supportive. It’s a market that is gaining in importance. So, for this reason we wanted to give back a little,” Mr Knechtel said.
Simon Inglefield, head of ASEAN – Far East Ferrari, was also at the launch. He explained that there were a number of reasons that Phuket was an ideal location in Thailand to debut the 488.
“In Bangkok, we found the traffic to be quiet heavy, so why not come to a beautiful location like Phuket, which really reflects the car: the blue color with the blue sky you have here and the scenery,” Mr Inglefield said. “That’s also why Phuket was chosen, because of the roads here. It’s the perfect location to test drive the car.”
The Southeast Asian region has proven to be a very volatile market for Ferrari, with strong results in one country, while another goes through a transitional period. However, the last five or six years have seen the Thailand market opening up, confirmed Mr Knechtel.
“We are very happy with Thailand. We are, step-by-step, seeing results in every aspect of the business. The California T [model] is working very well in Thailand. We are confident about any other model coming to Thailand, because the structure [here] is very strong and the customer base is getting stronger,” he explained.
“There are not too many [Ferraris in Phuket], but that is not a reason to do something for them. I think if the situation continues like this, we need to think about building stronger structures in Phuket and other areas within Thailand.”
The popularity of the Ferrari 458 Challenge racing event in Thailand continues to help boost the company’s presence in the Kingdom. Next season will again see the 458s raced. However, the 488 is expected to take the track for the 2017 season, confirmed Mr Knechtel.
The 488 is the most high-performance Spider built by the Prancing Horse and is powered by the coupé’s 3902cc turbo-charged V8, which punches out a maximum of 670 CV with the variable torque management system, guaranteeing smooth, progressive torque delivery in the higher gears.
The car, with blistering acceleration 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 8.7 seconds, has a throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds, which essentially eliminates the turbo lag typical of this kind of engine.
Though replacement for the Ferrari V12 range is coming soon, Mr Knechtel was unable to confirm or deny whether a similar turbo solution would be put in place for the larger engine.
The 488 has a retractable hard top, which debuted on the 458 Spider as the world’s first such solution on a mid-rear engined car. The retractable hard top has rendered traditional soft-tops obsolete, as it is not only lighter, but also provides better protection from noise and the elements. Equally significant is the fact that the retractable hard top can be raised or lowered in 14 seconds, even when the car is in motion.
In line with Ferrari’s tradition and drawing on the harmonics typical of Prancing Horse cars with this kind of architecture, this 8-cylinder has its own absolutely distinctive soundtrack, thanks to exhaust headers with longer, equal-length piping and the flat-plane crankshaft. The sound was crafted to be seductive, but never invasive when the top is dropped, with both volume and clarity increasing in signature Ferrari fashion.
— 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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