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Jet-ski jamboree’ to restore Phuket’s image

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Jet-ski jamboree’ to restore Phuket’s image | The Thaiger

PATONG, PHUKET: Phuket’s jet-ski operators are going all out to mend their industry’s grubby image on Thursday, when a ride on any of the island’s 200-plus jet-skis will be entirely free of charge.

The message they hope to send out: Phuket’s jet-skis are no longer a rip-off.

The Phuket jet-ski industry made headlines earlier in the year when foreign diplomats complained to the Thai government that Phuket jet-ski operators were extorting money out of tourists.

Then the TV show Big Trouble In Tourist Thailand hit British TV screens and YouTube.com, showing a jet-ski operator, Winai ‘JJ’ Naiman, extracting money out of a group of Royal Navy Marines.

A solution to the scam – in which operators demand large amounts of money from tourists for spurious ‘damage’, or grossly inflate repair fees – appears to be in place.

Nearly all of the island’s jet-skis are now insured under a compulsory insurance scheme and bear diamond-shaped stickers to prove it.

“I guarantee jet-ski rides won’t land any more tourists in trouble.”

That is what Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop told members of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee at a meeting to discuss the issue at Provincial Hall on Friday.

In attendance were committee president Torpong Chaiyasarn and vice presidents Polapee Suwanchawee and Thitima Chaisaeng.

Also present were Phuket MP Rewat Areerob, Tourist Police officers, tour operators and representatives from local government.

Mr Torpong said the committee was in Phuket to examine tourism problems that have damaged Thailand’s international image – especially the footage of JJ and its appearance on YouTube.com – and to find ways of mending that image.

Gov Wichai told the committee the jet-ski problem had been solved by the compulsory insurance scheme.

The scheme would be officially launched on Thursday, when all of the island’s jet-skis will be brought to Loma Park on Patong Beach, he said.

Starting from 9am and throughout the day, all jet-ski rides will be free.

For obvious reasons, those seeking a safe and peaceful swim on the day are advised to go elsewhere.

Mr Torpong said he was glad to hear the problem had been solved, but that the insurance scheme alone was not enough to repair Phuket’s reputation.

Local authorities needed to take legal action against the producers of Big Trouble In Tourist Thailand, and to report the case to YouTube.com, he said.

This, he hoped, would lead to the removal from the site of the damaging clips, which he said had now been viewed by more than one million people.

Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukhabaan questioned whether the jet-ski scam really frightened tourists away from Thailand, however.

“They’re much more concerned about political conflicts that could lead to airport closures,” he said.

Also discussed at the meeting was the variable price of boat tours.

Phuket Tour Boat Association President Kissada Pichetpongsanon said standard prices should be set for all tour boats operated off Phuket in order to end overcharging for trips – as well as over-discounting.

Phuket MP Rewat Areerob agreed to have further discussions with Mr Kissada on the subject.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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

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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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