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Phuket and Andaman hotel occupancy at 66.5% in 2011: THA

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket and Andaman hotel occupancy at 66.5% in 2011: THA | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Hotels in Phuket and other Andaman coast provinces enjoyed the highest occupancy rates in Thailand in 2011, the Thai Hotels Association has announced.

Speaking at a forum organized by the Federation of Thai Tourism Associations on Monday, Thai Hotels Association (THA) President Prakit Chinamourphong said there was a chance that Thai hotels could raise room rates by 5-8 per cent this year, in line with the anticipated 8-10-percentage-point growth in occupancy.

However, prices cannot be raised much, as tourists have lingering concerns over floods.

“Still, this is an improvement. In 2011, average room rates rose from US$94 to $97 per night,” that is, from 2,930 baht to about 3,025 baht, he said.

Floods that would affect tourism do not occur in Phuket or the Andaman provinces, but these provinces did suffer some ‘knock-on’ effect from the serious flooding in Central Thailand last year.

In Singapore, which boasts an average hotel occupancy rate of 85 per cent, the average room rate surged from $189 to $232 (about 5,700 baht to 7,000 baht).

Last year, the average occupancy rate for all hotels in Thailand was 59.2 per cent.
THA Vice President Surapong Techaruvichit admitted that hotel occupancy did not reflect a reported 19 per cent increase in arrivals, because of the emergence of “non-hotel accommodations” such as serviced apartments [and unregistered guesthouses].

Hotels in the North suffered the most, with average annual occupancy of only 45 per cent.

Hotels in the Andaman coast provinces of Phuket, Krabi, Trang, Phang Nga, Satun and Ranong enjoyed the highest rate: 66.5 per cent.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told the forum that the Thai tourism industry has suffered from a series of bad news reports over the past few years, from the airport closure and political instability to the recent floods.

The recovery strategy should highlight two selling points: Thailand as a “cultural destination” and as an “Asean tourism hub”, she said.

The strategy should also be linked to the local tourism and trade-development plans envisaged and invested in by local administrative bodies. The private sector should focus more on India and the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) market, she said.

Targeting India could pay huge dividends if Thailand – now a destination for wedding parties – can attract 1 per cent of its 1.2 billion people.

To promote the MICE business, Thailand will host the World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012 from May 30 to June 1. This should create huge demand for luxury accommodations, while the government will use it to persuade large economies to help boost the Thai tourism industry, PM Yingluck said.

Tourism is the first thing to get foreigners acquainted with Thailand. Later they will make investments in the Kingdom, she added.

Sisdivachr Cheewarattanporn, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said the four-year tourism strategy should also include developing more attractions such as a “Thai Disney World” and maintaining existing magnets, he said.

Amid fierce competition from other Asean countries, Thailand can no longer get away with just selling its beaches, he added.

The prime minister should prepare a clear plan with the tourism minister to guarantee proper implementation and budget allocation, he said.

The Tourism and Sports portfolio remains in the hands of Tourism Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa, who took over the post in January 2009 and survived the recent cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Sisdivachr said the tourism industry lacks a sustainable development plan and the full support of the government. With better support, more visitors would come to the country, he added.

Somchai Pakapaswiwat, a political science and economics scholar, urged tourism operators to look beyond Asean in promoting the industry.

They should focus more on countries that have forged free-trade agreements with Thailand, such as members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and Latin American countries.

Expansion is necessary as the European market is ebbing in the aftermath of the debt crisis, he said.

— The Nation



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Central’s new Suvarnabhumi lifestyle centre set to open late August

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Central’s new Suvarnabhumi lifestyle centre set to open late August | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Central Pattana

Central Village, a new luxury retail outlet situated near Suvarnabhumi International Airport, is 70% finished. Wallaya Chirathivat, deputy chief executive of Central Pattana, says the new lifestyle shopping precinct is scheduled to open on August 31.

Central says that retail space in Phase 2 have now opened after Phase 1 of the retail development was totally booked. They report 65 brands have already booked their space in the new development.

Central says the new space is designed with a primary target audience of 25-40 with a monthly income exceeding 50,000 baht.

Ms Wallaya said in the Bangkok Post… “We aim to attract over 10 million Thai and foreign shoppers in the first year. World-renowned tourist destinations such as Britain, Japan and Hong Kong have their favourite outlets for tourists, and soon Thailand will be proud of Central Village. It will become a must-visit shopping destination to complete your trip.”

Central Pattana also have a new Central concept store rising out of the ground in Cherng Talay, Phuket, between the Cherng Talay police station and Boat Avenue, on the east side of the road. It will be called Central Porto de Phuket.

Central's new Suvarnabhumi lifestyle centre set to open late August | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket expat re-invents the way sewing machines work

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Phuket expat re-invents the way sewing machines work | The Thaiger

British inventor creates a new sewing system that eliminates the bobbin.

When you list the worlds top inventions the sewing machine is rarely included, it’s lucky if it makes it into the top 50!

But there are very few moments in our daily life when we are not close to something that’s been produced using a sewing machine.

Now a recent patent, developed by a Phuket expat, is set to bring the sewing machine back into the forefront. Templeton Hancock, a British sewing machine mechanic and former sewing machine demonstrator living in Rawai, has created a new Everlasting Bobbin Sewing (EBS) System that eliminates the need for constantly changing thread bobbins.

A bobbin is a spindle or cylinder, with or without flanges, on which wire, yarn, thread or film is wound. Bobbins are typically found in sewing machines, cameras, and within electronic equipment. In non-electrical applications the bobbin is used for tidy storage without tangles – Wikipedia

“The inception to create the EBS System came to me after a conversation I had with a customer who voiced her frustration with having to continually change the bobbin.  It made me question why no one had come up with a satisfactory solution to discard it.”

“The EBS System offers huge benefits not just to manufactures but to everyone who regularly uses a sewing machine; it saves time, improves the quality and finish of garments, reduces waste and make the sewing machine more user-friendly and lessens the impact on the environment.”

The first patented sewing machine was in 1790 to an Englishman, Thomas Saint. Over the next 60 years, the machine was modified and improved to something that is still mechanically recognisable in comparison to today’s machines.

Since the 1980’s there have been significant electronic advancements to the sewing machine, but the need for a refillable bobbin has always harkened back to its introduction in 1853.  Over the years, there have been many who have tried to solve this bobbin dilemma. The simple EBS System provides the solution.

Phuket expat re-invents the way sewing machines work | News by The Thaiger

So, how does it work?

With current technology, the needle and upper thread pass down into the machine bed.  As the needle draws back up, the upper thread is left behind, just slightly, but it is enough that a loop is formed.  Machines are timed so that a rotating hook underneath the machine, spinning off a centrally placed drive shaft, can catch this loop and pass it over the bobbin and bobbin case to create a locking stitch.

The EBS System is different.  The drive shaft is moved to one side and the hook is placed within a bearing which has drive teeth on its circumference. A void is now created within the bearing which allows for a thread feed tube to supply endless amounts of thread to freely pass without interruption from the rotating hook, eliminating the need for a bobbin.

The bobbin holds, on average for #40 weight thread, around 34.3m of thread.  In manufacturing this can equate to the bobbin running out on average, every 9-11 minutes. Methods of turn around to get the machine operational again can vary from 22 seconds to 3 minutes, cutting into the amount of hourly units produced and also increasing wastage/seconds garments for the item in production when the thread ran out. 

Analysis of Operation in manufacturing puts aside an average 20% of Standard Allocated Hours (SAH) for changing the bobbin, adjustments and staff rest breaks. By removing the need to refill the bobbin and using the EBS System, manufacturing can be increased by as much as 19%.

Realising the problem with the bobbin, many manufacturers have opted for using a chain stitch instead of a locking thread for seaming. The downside being that the chain stitch uses more thread, creates a bulkier seam and is not as strong as the lock stitch. 

By using the EBS System instead of a chain stitch, a factory making jeans (for example) could save an average of 8.9m of thread per unit produced (depending on method of manufacture), and at the same time produce a better quality garment with stronger and less bulky seams.  8.9 metres multiplied by the amount of units produced each day, week and month, equates to being considerable saving even before you add back in the garments that would usually be discarded as wastage/seconds which have now been mostly eliminated.

The EBS System is not just limited to clothing. Footwear, upholstery, luggage and automotive manufacturers are also to benefit from the lack of a bobbin.  When the bobbin thread runs out, holes have been made in the material and it takes a short time before the machine operator notices.

The precision of the fit and strength of the material has been compromised and a labour intensive task now begins to reinforce the stitch and try to match the holes already created in the material. 

A continuous stream of thread will reduce the amount of wastage of leather and vinyl products in the pursuit of perfection that is expected and demanded by consumers.

The EBS System is not just for industrial use.

The simplicity of the design makes it versatile to be used in the domestic market. The EBS System is a relief to home sewing enthusiasts whose interests are within home decor and quilting. No more will they suffer the frustration when the thread runs out in the middle of a project. 

The versatility of the EBS System is that it can also be used with the current refillable bobbin for those small repairs and quick fixes that would require a variety of short lengths of different coloured thread.

The EBS System also looks to the future. A.I. and automation is making advances into the sewing industry, but these machines still need to be carefully monitored as they still rely on the need for a refillable bobbin.  Using the EBS System machines will enable manufactures to run for 24 hours with very little supervision, with an endless flow of lower lockstitch thread.

US Patent #10156034  PCT#IB2019/050843

For further information contact Templeton Dean Hancock… templeton_dean@hotmail.com

Phuket expat re-invents the way sewing machines work | News by The ThaigerTempleton Hancock, Phuket-based seining machine mechanic and inventor

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Phuket

Old Phuket Town underground cable works to be completed by August

The Thaiger

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Old Phuket Town underground cable works to be completed by August | The Thaiger

The project to hide the unsightly over-head cables around Old Phuket Town is due to be completed in August this year.

The Phuket City Mayor says there will be inconvenience to traffic in Old Phuket Town while the works are underway installing underground cabling in the remaining streets.

Read more about the progress of the works HERE.

The Phuket Provincial Public Works and Town and Country Planning Chief Tawee Homhuan says, “All electric cables on Phang Nga Road have already been moved underground but some other television cables are still on power poles.”

“It is expected that all cables will be moved underground during June. Cables on Rassada Road will be moved underground during August. So the Old Phuket Town underground project will be finished this August.”

The ambience of the Old Town has been substantially improved with new paving and the removal of the messy overhead cabling in recent years.

Old Phuket Town underground cable works to be completed by August | News by The Thaiger Old Phuket Town underground cable works to be completed by August | News by The Thaiger

 

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