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Pheu Thai to consider Phuket special administrative zone

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Pheu Thai to consider Phuket special administrative zone | The Thaiger

PHUKET: A peaceful protest for later closing times on Patong’s renowned Soi Bangla on Saturday may have finally encouraged the government to consider making Patong a special administrative zone.

Government Spokesman Prompong Nopparit, in Phuket on Saturday, pledged to take up the issue with Pheu Thai ministers at a meeting in Bangkok today.

The outcome of that meeting has yet to be announced.

“I inspected some night entertainment venues in Patong and found out that 99 per cent of tourists there are foreigners,” Mr Prompong told the press.

“But all entertainment venues in Thailand are required to follow the law under the Ministry of Interior. I will raise this issue for discussion at the Pheu Thai Party meeting on Tuesday,” he said.

“For the long term, Patong should apply to be a special administrative area for tourism, just like Pattaya. That will make it easier to manage all the local problems without going through the Ministry of Interior,” Mr Prompong added.

Mr Prompong comments came at a mass gathering of more than 1,500 people working in Patong’s entertainment industry, and other vocations dependent on the tourist town’s nightlife.

The protest was led by Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) President Weerawit Kurasombat, who handed Mr Prompong a formal request for the government to extend the trading hours of entertainment businesses in Patong.

Signatories to the request included the PEBA, Patong Community Organization Council, Patong Beach Hotel Association, Human Resources Management Club of Patong, Labor Volunteers Association, taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, car rental operators and tourists.

“On January 7, police officers inspected all entertainment venues in Patong and ordered us to close at 2am. That policy directly affects tourism in Patong. It has a domino effect on the business owners, workers, and other type of businesses,” said Mr Weerawit.

He explained that the 2am closing time within Patong’s entertainment zone, and even earlier outside the zone, was costing the local economy tens of millions of baht.

“Patong generates a lot of money from its night entertainment venues, but tourists only start to go out from about 11pm.

“Also, we have only three to four months of the the high season to make enough money to sustain us for a year. If the government doesn’t extend the trading hours, it will hurt our businesses,” said Mr Weerawit.

Patong Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakao yesterday held a meeting with more than 200 entertainment business, including PEBA President Weerawit, to explain that for now all businesses are required to follow the law.

To this Mr Weerawit said, “We understand that the police have to do their job, but if we have to open and close according to the current law, we will suffer from it.

“We are very happy to cooperate, but I would like the government to solve our problem as soon as possible,” he said.

Col Arayapan also told the night venue operators to brace themselves for more raids.

“I will send the officers to inspect venues for weapons and drugs,” said Col Arayapan.

“I would also like to ask all entertainment business owners to install the CCTV cameras inside their night clubs. This helps us in case something happens. It is the best evidence in identifying the criminals if there is a fight or something else wrong that happens,” he said.

— Warisa Temram



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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning | The Thaiger

A South Korean man and Thai woman have been injured in spa shooting in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds after having been shot at the spa in Wichit today.

Wichit Police reports that they was notified of an incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ in Wichit at 10.30am this morning.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots – a 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim, and father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa.

The other person injured was a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua who is staff at the spa.

They were both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The suspect, Somphon, a house-keeper at the spa, is currently being sought by police.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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Phuket

German man dies in Phuket motorcycle crash

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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German man dies in Phuket motorcycle crash | The Thaiger

A German man has died after a motorbike crash in Thalang.

The Thalang Police were notified of the incident last night on Srisoonthorn Road in Baan Manik, Thalang.

The German man, 53 year old Carsten Elfried Koch, was the driver of a motorbike and sustained critical injuries as a result of the crash. He died at the scene.

Police believe that Mr Koch was heading back to his home in Cherng Talay at high speed. He lost control at a curve on the wet road.

His body was taken to the Thalang Hospital for an autopsy. Officials have informed the German Embassy in Thailand.

Police didn’t report if the man was wearing a bike helmet or not.

German man dies in Phuket motorcycle crash | News by The Thaiger

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