PHUKET: About 100 angry tour guides protested at Chalong Police Station today after 23 legal members of a local Chinese tour guide association were brought in for questioning this morning.
Three members of the association had been attempting to collect evidence of illegal guides operating in the popular tourist destination when they were taken into police custody.
“We do not have jobs right now, as they have been stolen by illegal guides. So, two other guides and I went to Promthep Cape to gather evidence,” said protest leader Jaifu Sae-lee. “We started questioning the guides and taking pictures for evidence so that we could inform the police.”
However, police received reports that the men were threatening tourist. Officers arrived at about 11:45am, and brought the men to the police station.
“Instead of targeting the illegal guides, they forced us to come to the station with them,” Mr Jaifu said. “Why did the police arrest the legal guides instead of the illegal ones?”
Though only three members of the group were questioning people at Promthep Cape, all 23 members of the association were asked to come to the station, Mr Jaifu explained.
“That is why I was angry and called so many tour guides to gather at the station,” Mr Jaifu said.
Lt Col Sathit Nooricht of the Chalong Police explained that all the men were asked to come to the station in order to protect tourists.
“We were also trying to protect ourselves. The station is a safe, neutral place, so we had them follow our patrol cars there,” Col Sathit said.
All 23 men were released after the questioning was complete, said Col Sathit.
“The Chalong Police promised to arrest illegal guides, but we are not sure about other areas in Phuket,” Mr Jaifu said.
“We are all Thai nationals that have the proper paperwork and ID cards to prove that we are legal guides. We hope that the police will focus more on illegal guides in order to reserve jobs for those of us who are legitimate.”
With the green season in full swing, competition between guides for business has increased, said Col Sathit.
“We have names of possible illegal guides, but we have to collect evidence before we can make any arrests,” explained Col Sathit.
“We promise to help the legal guides. We don’t want to run into another situation where it appears that tourists are being threatened.”
Mr Jaifu cleared the protesters from Chalong Police Station shortly after 3pm.
Mr Jaifu is often at the forefront of tour guide protests, especially when it comes to protesting illegal Chinese tour guides.
In April last year, Mr Jaifu led more than 200 Thai tour guides to Phuket Provincial Hall to file a complaint to the Phuket Governor about Chinese nationals working illegally as local tour guides (story here).
On January 7 of this year, more than 100 Thai guides gathered at the Wichit Police Station in support of three guides who faced charges of attacking Chinese national Ta Leng, who they accused of stealing their jobs (story here).
The following day, about 100 Chinese-speaking Phuket tour guides protested in front of a travel company, alleging that the company was hiring illegal Chinese guides (story here).
— Saran Mitrarat
‘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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