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New look for Laguna Phuket Triathlon

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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New look for Laguna Phuket Triathlon | The Thaiger

PHUKET: This year’s Laguna Phuket Triathlon has a new look and a new bike course for the international athletes heading to the island to compete in a 1.8-km swim, 50-km bike ride and 12-km run at the Laguna Phuket resort on Sunday, November 20.

The organizers celebrated the triathlon’s 23rd anniversary by unveiling its fresh new look for participating athletes on September 24 at Vertigo TOO, Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok.

The baby elephant mascot ‘Laguna’ is the race’s new ambassador, sporting a redesigned race logo. There’s also a new bike course and tips to conquer the course, previously recognized as one of the most challenging bike courses in Asia.

The 2016 Laguna Phuket Triathlon features prize money of US$ 20,000 (or 694,790 baht).
Wowing the crowd even before the conference started was Thailand’s number 1 rock star Athiwara Khongmalai, better known as ‘Toon Bodyslam’, who has been an avid fan of Laguna Phuket Triathlon since 2012.

Presiding over the Bangkok conference were Promchote Traivate, Inspector General Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports; Kajornkiet Rakpanitmanee, Vice Governor of Phuket; Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket and sponsor representatives; Soodrak Chanyavongs, Manager, Promotions Department from Thai Airways PLC and Wasna Jirasuradej, Marketing Manager, Cocomax.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has been working on developing a framework for the future of Thailand’s sport tourism, a segment in which Thailand has a high potential to continue growing, both in its quantity and quality,” said Mr Promchote.

“Laguna Phuket Triathlon, hosted and organized locally in Phuket with full collaboration between the government, local communities and private sectors, exemplifies a strategic sport tourism combination that promotes both destination and healthy lifestyle with international appeals,” he said.

The enduring appeal of Laguna Phuket attracts entries from leading international pro athlete personalities, as well as age groupers worldwide. This year we once again expect to see a field of more than 1,000 triathletes, representing more than 50 countries around the world, at our resort on November 20,” said Laguna’s Ravi Chandran.

“As the organizer of Asia’s longest standing triathlon race, it is a delight to see the popularity of triathlon proliferates new races in Thailand and the region while Laguna Phuket Triathlon, with its longevity and worldwide appeal, is being recognized internationally. This year in particular, it is an honor that Laguna Phuket Triathlon is shortlisted as a finalist in ‘Best Amateur Sports Event of the Year in Thailand’ category at Sports Industry Awards (SPIA) Asia 2016” said Mr Ravi.

While sport tourism is key to Laguna Phuket Triathlon’s success, sustainability has also been an integral focus of the race.

Athletes booking their slots in Laguna Phuket Triathlon can help raise funds through donations and sponsorships for the resort’s long established ‘Laguna Phuket Foundation’ to operate its various charitable programs.

“Not many years had passed before the triathletes felt a deep connection with our race and the communities surrounding it, and started asking how they can give back to the race,” said Mr Ravi.

“Over the years, millions of baht have been raised through Laguna Phuket Foundation to fund initiatives as local school renovations, survival swim teaching, Community Learning Center, Seedlings Phuket and the Mobile Learning Center for children.”

Registration is open now until November 13. For more information and registration, visit www.lagunaphukettri.com or Facebook/LagunaPhuketTri.
The Phuket Gazette and The Nation are the proud national media partners in the event.

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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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