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Phuket

Hotels continue to batter OrBorJor

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Hotels continue to batter OrBorJor | The Thaiger

PHUKET: With just three days to go before the new provincial hotel tax comes into force, hoteliers have continued to assail the Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) with criticism and threats of lawsuits and even industrial action. During a meeting at the Patong Resort yesterday, with mostly middle-level employees from 140 Patong hotels, the hotels argued that the way the Phuket OrBorJor is applying the tax conflicts with regulations issued by the Ministry of Interior. “In the original regulation issued by the Ministry of Interior, it mentions nothing about the hotels being liable if they fail to collect the tax. It only mentions the penalty for tourists who fail to pay the tax,” a leading member of the Phuket Tourism Association (PTA), who asked not to be named, told the Gazette. He added that if the OrBorJor starts collecting the tax from Sunday without first changing its penalties and the tax rates charged, then the PTA will have to bring legal action against the OrBorJor. The OrBorJor, he argued, should levy a flat rate per hotel guest, regardless of the size of the hotel. During the meeting, one manager of a four-star resort in Patong threatened that if the OrBorJor continues in its efforts to collect the tax, the resort will encourage its staff to stage demonstrations. Hanchai Chantarachota, chairman of the OrBorJor Tourism Committee, said, “We do not want any such protest because it could create a bad image for both Phuket and the country. The OrBorJor does not want any violence,” he added. Hotel representatives countered that it was not demonstrations, but the tax that would damage the image of Phuket, to which K. Hanchai retorted that this wasn’t a worry as the OrBorJor would use the money to develop tourism, thereby improving the image of Phuket. “Moreover,” he said, “0.5% is not too much for tourists – it’s only 50 satang for each 100 baht paid.” K. Hanchai said the OrBorJor expects that only about 100 hotels will pay the hotel tax with effect from Sunday. This figure, he said, would include hotels of every level. After October 1, the OrBorJor will continue its efforts to explain the tax to hotels that may still have questions, as well as contacting any that have not yet registered. Apart from the hotel industry, the OrBorJor’s tax seems to have wide support among tourism-related businesses. One travel agent who has operated in Phuket for almost 20 years told the Gazette, “They [the hotels] should pay if the money will benefit Phuket’s tourism, its people and the community. “Travel agents in Phuket are facing a problem too – the increase in national park entry fees,” he added. “I have to contact about 200 to 300 agents around the world to inform them of this possible additional cost.” A manager of a leading jewelry and souvenir shop in Phuket also said he supports the tax. He said, “If one day, such a tax were imposed on our business, I am positive that we wouldn’t mind paying, if we could be assured that the revenue would be used to improve the island’s standard of living and to attract more tourists to Phuket.”



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Business

Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | The Thaiger

Hermès has opened of its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta, the newly opened lifestyle shopping destination in the heart of the island, opposite Central Festival.

As Hermès’ first venture outside the Thai capital, the new Hermès Phuket store makes a significant statement of expansion and confidence in the market. The new address in this world-renowned island will allow the growing population of local residents, along with domestic and international tourists, to discover the abundant variety of Hermès métiers and savoir-faire.

Designed by the Parisian architecture agency RDAI, the elegant 172 m² retail space is located by the shopping centre’s main entrance and benefits from a double exposure with an exterior and an interior façade.

A bamboo claustra follows the line of the mall’s exterior glass, filtering the daylight that bathes the indoor space, and further illustrates Hermès’ high regard for local craftsmanship. The interior façade is composed of a refined lacquered metal, featuring a large window display, complemented by four recesses with illuminated silk scarves.

Upon entering the store, visitors are welcomed by the House’s ex-libris and signature Grecques lights, designed for Hermès in 1925. The store is decorated with natural and local materials – bamboo floors and claustra, cognac toned Cherrywood walls, toffee coloured silk and fibre fabrics – tastefully blending various elements of Thai culture and modern architecture. The soft colour palette evokes the sand and the sun in their various shades, providing a delightfully serene and convivial atmosphere.

The overall volume is divided into two main areas by the feminine silk grid facing the entrance. The first one, with the iconic Faubourg pattern mosaic floor, allows guests to explore the silk, fashion jewellery, fragrance, art of living, and equestrian departments.

Opposite the leather goods display, an intimate space invites guests to uncover the watch and jewellery collections. Further along, one can discover the women and men’s universes. A sand coloured carpet on the floor outlines the area dedicated to the shoe collections, enriched by a delicate custom-made bamboo light module as the ceiling centrepiece.

Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger Hermès opens its first store in Phuket at Central Floresta | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Red car ‘gun flasher’ arrested in Phuket | The Thaiger

Phuket police have arrested and are questioning the driver of a red sedan following Friday’s incident on Thepkasattri Road in Srisoonthorn where he appeared to wave a gun out of his driver’s window (video in the link below).

Manop Sangpal was tracked down by police but they’ve confirmed that Mr Manop’s ‘gun’ was just a BB gun, not a firearm.

The video of the man driving the red sedan and waving the ‘gun’ out of the driver’s window spread around social media on Friday afternoon after a driver following recorded the incident and posted it.

Read the story and see the video below…

Police hunting for driver who threatened others with a gun on Phuket road – VIDEO

On the video the red Ford sedan cuts in front of the car with the dashcam then veers to the left lane while the driver waves the gun out of his window near Wat Srisoonthorn.

Police say Mr Manop was arrested at lunchtime yesterday (Saturday) in a workers camp in Soi Sukapibal where he lives with his Burmese wife and family.

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Krabi

Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast – all clear

The Thaiger

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Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast – all clear | The Thaiger

An advisory was sent out last night about two earth tremors registering 5.0 and 5.2 magnitude centered on the Andaman Islands, 620 kilometres north west of Phuket.

The National Disaster Warning Centre sent out an advisory to Governors of six Andaman Coast provinces to be on alert for tsunami warnings and more earthquake activity.

There has been no tsunami activity registered along the Andaman coastlines.

Tsunami advisory for Andaman Coast - all clear | News by The Thaiger

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