NEWS Hound: Another Phuket Island in the Philippines?

Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.

Business Mirror
Banyan Tree’s $300-million development project to turn the 60-hectare Diwaran Island, Philippines, into the next tourist paradise in Southeast Asia should start very soon with the release of the environment compliance certificate (ECC). Tourism Secretary Joseph ‘Ace’ Durano told the BusinessMirror, “They plan to build a new ‘Phuket in the Philippines’.” The group has already developed Asia’s largest integrated resort, Laguna Phuket, spanning seven hotels, a golf course and a residential development. The plan is to build something similar for Diwaran.

Bali to challenge Phuket with new airport

Jakarta Globe
As the “Gateway to paradise,” Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport should immediately be expanded, said Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik on Sunday. Jero says he believes the expansion of the airport would attract more tourists to Bali and other destinations in Indonesia, where in the past two months the number of tourist arrivals has increased by 3-4 percent over the same period last year. The airport will cover 120,000 square meters with a cost of about $182 million, and it will double the airport’s annual passenger-handling capacity, to about 20 million. The expansion project is still waiting for recommendations from the Bali governor and the head of Badung District.

Tsunami: Avoiding a repeat at all costs

Al Jazeera
Scientists have defended their decision to issue a tsunami warning to Thailand, and 53 other territories around the Pacific rim following Saturday’s magnitude 8.8 quake in Chile. The alert sent hundreds of thousands of people fleeing coastal areas for higher ground, but apart from Chile itself and small surges elsewhere, the giant waves never materialized. Officials at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center explained that tsunami prediction, using ocean bed sensors and specialized computer mapping, still remains far from an exact science. They also maintain that it was better to issue a warning and be proved wrong than to ignore a potential catastrophe.

Related news
Troops sent to maintain calm in Bangkok

The Bangkok Post
The Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) is ready to send troops to help prevent bombings in Bangkok and its surrounding areas, Isoc spokesman Maj Gen Ditthapron Sasasmith said late yesterday afternoon. When asked about the planned mass anti-government rally on March 14, to be staged by the red shirts, Maj Gen Ditthaporn said the government’s ‘situation monitoring committee’ would arrange a meeting soon to prepare a security plan for the protest.

— Gazette Editors

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