NEWS Hound: Phuket to smell good next month

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, 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
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.

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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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