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NEWS Hound: Phuket to smell good next month

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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NEWS Hound: Phuket to smell good next month | The Thaiger
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.

PHUKET: From April 22-26, The Pavilions in Phuket will hold ‘Passion For Perfume’, a unique three-day programme designed specifically for couples to indulge in the sensual pleasures of scent. Phuket will welcome world-renowned “perfumer” Stephen V. Dowthwaite, founder of Perfumers World. According to etravelblackboard.com, senses will be stirred at the resort as couples are introduced to a range of scents and discover their personal preferences.

By the end of the course, the resort says, each couple will create their own pheromone-sparking fragrance. The course is scheduled to be repeated June 17-21, August 19-23, and October 14-18. Prices for the five-day/four-night package start from 101,076 baht, accommodation and breakfast included.

Hainan wants out of Phuket’s shadow

crienglish.com
China’s council revealed plans to develop the southernmost province of Hainan into a top international tourism destination by 2020. Brainstorming is now underway regarding how to make it stand out from other well established tropical destinations, such as Phuket. Tropical warmth, palm trees and humid breezes from the South China Sea have made Hainan a popular resort for domestic and international tourists.

Neel Banerjee, research director for travel & leisure with TNS Market Research International China, says that Hainan is not necessarily going to be another Phuket. As the island will mainly target mid- and low-income tourists, the planners will be trying to keep visitor  expenses below those in Phuket. And “showcasing some of the cultural beauty of Hainan is probably another key part of differentiating Hainan,” he says.

Thailand in ‘Top 5’ for business outsourcing

Asia times
As the global economy shifts from crisis to recovery, the business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry is sparking new demand and buoying employment and investment in the Philippines, where it is one of the country’s most important industries. With its English-speaking population and cultural affinity with the United States – the world’s biggest ‘off-shoring’ client – the Philippines accounts for between 7% and 15% of the global BPO market.

Still, the Philippines faces challenges from shifting industry trends. In AT Kearney’s O&O ranking for 2009, the Philippines ranked as the world’s seventh most attractive off-shoring site, below India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Egypt, in that order.

Business worries mount in Thailand

The Bangkok Post
A study conducted by the central bank in January revealed that 54% of polled businessmen were concerned over the current political situation in Thailand. Business operators were also concerned about the difficulty of raising prices for their products and services, the fierce competition from foreign firms, and the high costs of production. Risk factors in the Thai economy were labour shortages in the industrial segments, the drought that could be as severe as the crisis in 2004, the revival of the tourism sector, and the ongoing political strife.

Extreme weather for Thailand

National News Bureau of Thailand
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) expects drought, thunderstorms, forest fires and widespread smoke in Thailand this summer. The DDPM predicts that the drought situation from now through May will be more severe than last year due to 5% lower year-on-year water levels in the nation’s reservoirs.

The North will experience climate variability with frequent thunder and hailstorms. The dry weather will also result in forest fires and smoke nationwide, especially in the southern part of Thailand, including Phuket. Cyclones are likely to attack the west coast of the country resulting in flashfloods at the end of April.

— Gazette Editors

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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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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

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Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

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Events

The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners

The Thaiger

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The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners | The Thaiger

4,000 runners from Thailand and overseas took part in the 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half Marathon 2019 yesterday, starting from the Phuket Gateway.

The event is expected to raise 700,000 baht for the charity, now in its 15th year. The money raised goes towards to The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment, and ecosystems, for the wellbeing of sea turtles that nest in the Mai Khao beach and the surrounding areas.

The annual race also provides funds for thePhuket Marine Biological Centre’s Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program and The Third NavalArea Command’s Turtle Hatchery Program.

The race was in its 15th year and runners of all ages and abilities took part in the race. The morning’s racing was divided into five categories – the 21.1km half marathon, 10.5km mini- marathon, 5km fun run and 3k family run and VIP participants for all the races. The route of 21.1 kilometre race took runners northwest along the Haad Sai Kaew beach towards Thao Thepkasattri bridge, past the rural road No. 3006, run along the road – Pi Lai viewpoint area returned back along the T. Baan Tha Nun to the iconic Sarasin bridge before finished the half marathon in the Phuket Gateway.

For Mini Marathon 10.5 km – Over all category, Mr. Chinnawat Changlek clocked 39 minutes and 40 seconds to clinch victory in the male half marathon, winning prize money and a trophy with the signature of Phuket’s Governor. The winner in the female mini marathon was Surakarn Wanna with a time of 47 minutes and 47 seconds.

Winners also received a prize gift voucher as well as a medal. Congratulations to all participants.

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