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Interior Minister in snap visit to Patong

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Recently appointed Minister of Interior Wan Muhamad Nor Matha last night made an impromptu three-hour inspection tour of Patong and stayed at the Royal Paradise Hotel. The minister made his first public appearance in Phuket earlier in the day at a meeting of about 100 police and government officers and community leaders at Phuket Provincial Hall. K. Wan Nor explained that he decided to visit Phuket, and other southern provinces, while on a recent visit to his parents in Yala. “I came to support and encourage the Governor of Phuket and the officers here to work 100% on the situation right now because Phuket is an important province of Thailand. “Also, as the new Interior Minister, I wanted to see the situation in Phuket first-hand,” he added. Downplaying Phuket’s potential as a terrorist target, he said, “We cannot compare what has happened in Bali or Russia because those places have different people and specific problems. We don’t have problems of internal conflict or conflict with another country. “We have had a long-standing policy of friendly relations with every country, including the USA, China, Japan and Sri Lanka, and I believe that every country wants to be friends with Thailand,” he said. However, K. Wan Nor said that even if the authorities were certain that nothing would happen, they should not be negligent, especially since recent events abroad, and that they must keep up to date with the latest developments. “Phuket is not just a regional tourist destination; it is an international one. If something [adversely] affects tourism here, it would be very difficult to recover from, even if it were only rumors,” he said. At about 10 pm, K. Wan Nor began a three-hour tour of Patong, including bar beers and discotheques, and spoke to local vendors, local residents and tourists. He was accompanied by an entourage of about 30 high-ranking officials, with a strong police presence visible on the street. Standing on Thaweewong Rd late last night, he said, “I have [just] spoken with tourists from Australia, Sweden and Denmark. “Most of them said they were enjoying their stay even though their friends and families back home had told them about their governments’ warnings,” he said. “They believe they are safe in Phuket.” Meanwhile, Phuket Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi has sent details of Phuket’s upgraded security to Thai embassies and the national and international press via email. In a message posted on the Internet he also said, “We have carried out utmost security measurements and do our best to ensure visitors’ safety without affecting the congenial atmosphere.” Under the headline “Phuket Steps Up Security for Tourists” the online site of Phuket Provincial Office [ https://www.phuket.go.th ] deals with the international concern and itemizes the local response. The governor said that every country had the right to warn their nationals about global situations. However, he agreed with the Thai Government that Thailand is not a target for any international terrorist attack.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

Bill Barnett

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Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent | The Thaiger

Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted to limited ASQ traffic. The situation is dire, when you consider that between 15-20% of Thailand’s GDP is linked to tourism.

In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke clearly that only when a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented, would the country open to substantial tourism. Given the current timelines and forecasts, this may not be likely until mid-2021 at the earliest, though subject to advancement if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.

For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021, for the most part, will see a continued reliance on domestic travellers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.

Given the winter spike in Asia, Europe, and North America of Covid-19, Thailand is not alone in relying on the vaccine to return tourism but the process will not be instant and the re-openings of borders will most certainly be staged.

HERE’s a list of 113 Alternative State Quarantine hotels.

The business reality for Phuket and across Thailand is to plan for the worst in the coming six months and only expect 2022 to see a notable uptick.

Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.

While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. ‘Survive the downturn’ is the new mantra.

No vaccine, no entry. Read more HERE.

No vaccine, no flight. Read more HERE.

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Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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