NEWS Hound: Travel update for Thailand

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: Government-owned Thai media conglomerate Mcot reports that Bangkok’s major airport Suvarnabhumi has issued an advisory warning passengers check in 3 hours in advance for international flights, and 2 hours before domestic departures, during the big ‘Red Shirt’ political protests. The demonstrations started this morning in Bangkok and are scheduled to run through March 23.

Whilst The Nation reports an assurance from transport permanent secretary Supoth Sublom that the general pubic will have “access as usual” to both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports as well as bus terminals nationwide during the mass anti-government protests scheduled for this weekend. Security has been tightened at major transport hubs and alternate routes will be available if the main access roads are blocked by the rallies, Supoth says.

TODAYonline also reveals that Suvarnabhumi Airport, which was besieged by protesters in 2008, has made contingency plans in case the Red Shirt demonstrations get out of control. “There are concerns that travelling plans of passengers may be disrupted,” a statement from the airport said.

Meanwhile, Phuket continues unlikely to be directly affected by the protests as there are no known plans for any anti-government activities in the island province, long a stronghold of support for the Democrat Party whose coalition leads the current Thai government.

More Brits and Germans visiting Phuket

Travel Daily News
Vacation demand has stabilized for the 2010 summer season in Germany and in the UK in particular, two of the largest tourism source markets in Europe, and whose travelers have proven to be partial to Phuket. Following a general decline in booking figures over the last 18 months, signs of recovery in demand are beginning to show.

In Germany, vacation bookings for the 2010 summer season have been rising for the past two months and the level of bookings at the end of January 2010 was equal to the prior year’s level. In the UK, the positive growth trend started earlier, with cumulative booking sales for the coming summer now up some 3%.

‘Race to survive Phuket’ starts soon
Accor Asia Pacific will hold its ‘Race to Survive Phuket 2010’ from March 22 to 25, with proceeds raised going to Accor’s Yim Kids Foundation. Teams from all corners of the globe will come to Phuket to push themselves to the limit, completing strenuous daily combinations of swimming, mountain biking, kayaking and running, while camping at night at Koh Lon, a small isolated island southeast of Phuket. Many of the team members participating in the race are hoteliers, not professional athletes. The Yim Kids Foundation aims to improve the social well being of Thai children in Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Meridien Phuket shows its ‘true green’
Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, a recipient of the ASEAN Green Hotel Recognition Award 2007-2009 for its “commitment to environmental protection and outstanding efforts in environmental conservation”, will be turning its lights off for one hour from 20:30 on Saturday, March 27, in support of Earth Hour. The 470-room resort will shut down non-essential lighting in its buildings and unoccupied guest rooms while encouraging guests to switch off non-essential lights in their rooms. The resort says that since its opening in 1987 it has tried hard to minimize its impact on the environment through waste reduction, efficient energy management, water conservation, and active participation in community green programs.

— Gazette Editors

Phuket News

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