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Mother of savaged pit bull victim presses criminal charges

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Mother of savaged pit bull victim presses criminal charges | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Criminal negligence charges were filed this week against the owners of the three pit bull terriers that mauled a man outside his own Phuket home in early February.

Tiansak Aikpaiboon, 33, was savaged by three of his neighbor’s five pit bulls right in front of his home in Suan Thai Village, behind Wichit Songkram School near Central Festival, at about 8am on February 6 (story here).

“My son heard a woman screaming in front of our house. He went to see what was going on and saw a woman trying to fight off the three dogs with her handbag and umbrella,” Benjarat Aikpaiboon said.

Her son rushed out of the home to help the woman, only to have the three dogs turn and attack him, she added.

Mr Tiansak was taken to Bangkok Hospital Phuket for treatment after a neighbor managed to chase off the dogs.

“He was at Bangkok Hospital Phuket for almost three weeks,” Mrs Benjarat told the Phuket Gazette.

“He was transferred to Phuket International Hospital on Wednesday to receive a skin graft to repair his leg wounds,” she said.

Spiralling hospital bills totalling over 800,000 baht prompted Mrs Benjarat to file a criminal complaint with Wichit Police on Monday.

“We tried to negotiate with the neighbor at the police station after the incident,” Mrs Benjarat said at the time of filing the complaint.

“Initially, the dogs’ owners asked us to transfer Tiansak to the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization Hospital [in Rassada], but I declined. Our hospital bill from Bangkok Hospital Phuket reached 800,000 baht, but the dogs’ owners have paid only 300,000 baht and has refused to cover the rest of the bill,” she said.

Police confirmed to the Phuket Gazette that the dogs’ owners now face criminal charges as Mrs Benjarat filed two complaints under the Criminal Code: one under Section 300, causing grievous bodily harm through negligence, and another under Section 377, allowing a ferocious or vicious animal to wander alone in a manner likely to cause injury.

“If they [the dogs’ owners] are found to have been negligent, the case will be filed with the Public Prosecutor,” said Officer Sanich Nookong of the Wichit Police.

The maximum penalty for a Section 300 infraction is three years’ imprisonment, a fine up to 6,000 baht, or both. For Section 377, the punishment is up to a month in prison, a fine up to 1,000 baht, or both.

Additional reporting by Kritsada Mueanhawong

— Chutharat Plerin



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Phuket

Phuket’s tourist evolution – Diversity is the best option Part 2

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s tourist evolution – Diversity is the best option Part 2 | The Thaiger

by Guest Writer

Our guest writer has been managing resorts around Phuket for two decades and has represented his brand at international expos along with promotions for Phuket over the years. His knowledge is first-hand and steeped in local experience. He has asked to remain anonymous.

Read Part 1 of the report HERE.

In Part 1 of the article we looked at the changes and evolution of Phuket’s tourist mix, the rise of the Russian market, then the Chinese and now the drop of both. So what can we do to continue to lure the Chinese travellers?

We need to learn about the Chinese market and guest’s expectations in order to be able to develop products, services and welcome them. You will see many hotels sending their sales teams regularly to China to the main line cities plus secondary cities to entice new business and to regain the confidence in our Phuket hotel products. In our case, when sales teams come back, they are expected to debrief the operation teams on Chinese guest expectations and the feedback from partners on how we can improve the service and products in place for our Chinese visitors. How many business do any research about their customers and what they actually want?

Here are some figures covering January to May in 2018 vs 2019 for the same period, about visitors to our resorts:

• Chinese guests, dropped 26.17%, year on year to date

• Russian guests, increased 22.99% year on year to date (this was a case of several tour operators consolidating their hotels to reduce inventory)

• South African guests, up 4.48% year on year to date.

• Australia and New Zealand combined, down 33.14% year on year to date (Phuket competes head to head with Bali and South American islands.  Price is the key to any packaging as guests tend to look at great value packages, and the money saved is then on hand to use once they arrive at the destination!).

The Thai Baht has had an effect on the ‘value for money’ traditionally associated with traveling to Thailand too. The Chinese Yuan end of June 2018 was holding at around 5.06 Baht per 1 Yuan, but today it is 4.46 Baht per 1 Yuan.

The Australian Dollar was nearing 24.75 Baht per 1 Dollar a year ago, but today is hovering at 21.30 Baht per 1 Dollar which has had a dramatic affect on the famous ‘deals’ which Australian travellers are so accustomed to and hotels rely on during the green season.

As the Indian market is now seen as a possible ‘mainstream’ market heading towards Thailand, hoteliers are being approached more and more to see if we are ready to welcome Indian guests. Traditionally heading to the more lively resorts, families are going to play an important part in future arrivals from the sub-continent too. 

Once again, expect to see a change in beach choice for families as the market opens up and recent improved air links with several major cities in India and Phuket shows that the future is promising for this market. Once again, a market we need to learn about and do our homework on guest expectations whilst holidaying here.

We have seen much ‘price dumping’ recently in the market place. By doing this, if a 5* property starts doing this, the situation ‘dominoes down’ the line to 4*, 3* and so on.  According to several partners both in China and Bangkok, this year has seen aggressive price dumping but as the overall demand is not there this is going to have a severe affect on future negotiations as it will be difficult to get prices up again in the future.

One way which many of us are coping with this is ‘value adding’ – by maintaining room rates but offering some inclusions or ‘give aways’ within the rate instead makes a product more attractive to customers. Rate averages after these inclusions (depending on how a hotel calculates them and allocates the charges) will reduce and this year we have already seen 2.67% lower average room rate ‘year to date’ compared to last year.

Packaging is also becoming a bigger norm with hotels offering set packages for several nights stay with some inclusions.  This we have tried in several markets and the response has been good. 7 night stays with a few additional meals, cocktails, prepacked laundry before going home, for example. Hoteliers’ costing teams are working harder than ever before to make sure that such packages produce returns whilst offering  guests excellent value for money!

As one of the most established Vice Presidents of Sales and Marketing mentioned a few months ago, traditional 2 year ahead contracts with tour operators is becoming less and less important as the market changes so rapidly these days. We need to work day by day or month by month to react to market demands more than ever before to ensure that we remain competitive, nimble and flexible.

As we enter the second half of 2019, sales team meetings are looking more and more at new emerging markets; at balancing the books by nationality with new channels of distribution both online and traditional holiday companies in more countries to ensure that resorts don’t rely on just a handful of nationalities as, after all, we really never know when some of our largest tourist-feeding nations decide to change their travelling habits.

As it becomes easier and cheaper to travel by air, and the number of countries, who are welcoming visitors and becoming openly competitive with Thailand, increases never forget that every visitor has a great choice of countries to visit.

We need to continually review our products and services to ensure that we are aimed at the correct markets, guest mix (families, couples, younger, older, etc) and today’s trends in travel.

Therefore we ALL need to ensure that we are top of our game and welcome guests with true Thai smiles and make sure that we provide a safe environment with excellent service plus offering superb value for money.

Finally we should never forget to show the true traditions of Thailand that have attracted visitors to the Land of Smiles for centuries.

Phuket’s tourist evolution – Diversity is the best option Part 2 | News by The Thaiger

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Phang Nga

Progress on Phang Nga’s new international airport

Bill Barnett

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Progress on Phang Nga’s new international airport | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, c9hotelworks

The AoT (Airports of Thailand) planned international airport in Phang Nga, set to be part of a triangle of international airports serving the Phuket, Phang Nga, Khao Lak and Krabi tourist zones, is poised to move past another development milestone.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, the second gateway Greater Phuket airport project is being put forward to the government with a budgeted cost of 75 billion baht.

Once approved, final land appropriation is expected to take 12 months and construction another 48 months, so the earliest opening would be 2024/2025.

New of the project continues to drive land transactions, and push up costs, at an increasing pace in the nearby Phang Nga areas of Ko Pilai, Kok Kloy and Natai which are located close to the airport’s proposed site.

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Phuket

Phuket in the Top Ten list of Best Places to Visit

The Thaiger

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Phuket in the Top Ten list of Best Places to Visit | The Thaiger

Paris topped the US News list of the World’s Best Places to Visit, Phuket gets into the top 10 destinations this year. The annual rankings list the World’s Best Places to Visit, along with region-specific and niche lists.

Paris, a long favourite with its world-renowned attractions, excellent cuisine and charming atmosphere, scored the top spot in the Best Place to Visit in the World listing. New Zealand’s South Island was in second place, Rome was third, Tahiti fourth and London in fifth place.

Thailand’s most popular island, Phuket, was the highest placed Asian destination and scored the eighth place in the Top Ten destinations, beating out Grand Canyon, New York, Sydney and Maldives.

US News also compiles the Best Places to Visit in the USA, the Best Historical Cities to Visit in the USA, the Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA, the Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific and the Best Places to Visit in Asia. Unique to US News, the rankings combine editor, traveller and expert feedback to determine the most remarkable destinations around the world.

  1. Paris, France
  2. South Island, New Zealand
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. Tahiti, French Polynesia
  5. London, UK
  6. Maui, Hawaii
  7. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  8. Phuket, Thailand
  9. Grand Canyon, US
  10. Yosemite, US
  11. Barcelona, Spain
  12. New York City
, US
  13. Dubai
, UAE
  14. Machu Picchu, Peru
  15. Sydney
, Australia
  16. Maldives
  17. Amsterdam
, The Netherlands
  18. San Francisco
, US
  19. Florence, Italy
  20. Yellowstone
, US

SOURCE: ttrweekly.com

Phuket in the Top Ten list of Best Places to Visit | News by The Thaiger

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