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Phuket Events: Yacht racing dominates

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– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community. World Cup? Get instantaneous scores and news updates right here on the Gazette Online (fed directly from FIFA).

PHUKET: The third SEA Property International Phuket Multihull Championship will take place July 16-18 in the Chalong Bay area. This increasingly popular event is expected to attract over 20 entries this year and is a perfect feeder for the Six Senses Phuket Raceweek.

The SEA event is sponsored by SEA Property and organised and hosted by the Ao Chalong Yacht Club, and consists of three days of racing and four parties. Registration is on the Thursday evening with a briefing on Friday at 0900 hrs at the ACYC prior to the first scheduled warning signal at 1100 hrs.

This is followed by a programme of five races to be held on the Friday (2), Saturday (2) and Sunday (1), with evening parties at the Club sponsored by Sea Bees, Corsair Marine and Derani Yachts.

Logistics sponsors include Andaman Cabriolet and Latitude 8. The media partner is IMAGE Asia, and Elite Wine is said to be promising some special prizes.

On July 21, just three days after the close of the SEA regatta, Six Senses Phuket Raceweek, now in its seventh year, will launch four days of world-class yacht racing and five nights of magical, beachside parties at the 5-star Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa – all captured for international TV broadcast to 140 million households.

The regatta is run over seven classes, including cruising/bareboat/charter yachts. It’s competitive, high-octane racing for the serious boats and fun courses around the islands for the less serious racers.

Among others, Phuket Raceweek is sponsored by The Nation and Phuket Gazette newspapers, along with the Gazette‘s television arm PGTV.

Big Sale underway in Phuket

TR Weekly
For the 12th consecutive year, Phuket is featured in the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale (ATGS).

Aimed at Thais, local expats and short-haul international travellers, the event sees retailers offering discounts of up to 80%, along with special promotions, prizes and even some tax deductions.

The Sale started last week and runs until August 15.

The event is organized by NCC Exhibition Organiser and sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in coordination with VISA International Thailand, for the stated purpose of strengthening Thailand’s position as a major shopping destination.

Here in Phuket, shoppers will find many retailers participating in the ATGS at the Jungceylon shopping mall in Patong.

In addition to Phuket, the sale is running concurrently in seven other major tourism cities in Thailand, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Hua Hin, Samui, Pattaya and Udon Thani.

According to the TAT’s Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, the sale generated 1.2 billion baht last year, and is expected to see increased spending this year.

Thailand now a budget destination?

Today Online
Thailand has become the “value-for-money destination du jour” to entice travellers back to the country after a month of conflict.

Shops in Bangkok and seven other major tourism destinations, including Phuket, are offering discounts of up to 80 per cent in an ongoing summer sale and hotels have reduced rates and increased perks to fill rooms.

A three-night stay at the four-star Kingston Suites in Bangkok, for example, costs only 1,466 baht ($64) a night, inclusive of breakfast, Internet, an 8am check-in and a late 6pm check-out.

Phuket hot weekend promotion

Asia Travel Tips
Phuket’s luxury Indigo Pearl has launched a ‘Hot Weekend’ promotion offering guests a 50% discount on any room type booked, with a minimum stay of two nights and a maximum of four nights.

The package includes a 25% discount on F&B and spa therapies throughout the guests’ stay, as well as complimentary airport transfers.

The promotion provides several accommodation choices at Indigo Pearl, with prices from 5,502 baht (US$ 238) for a two-night stay. Terms and conditions apply.

Marriot rejects price war

TTR Weekly
Marriott International says bookings are down and the length-of-stay at its Bangkok properties has dropped to just two to three days, but the group will resist pressure to cut room rates.

Managing director for international lodging Edwin D. Fuller said his group would not bow to pressure.

“Marriott will be aggressive in meeting one-on-one with travel partners, both retailers and wholesalers, and we will conduct sales missions in key source markets such as Russia, India, China, and some specific European countries,” he said at a press briefing on Monday.

A search of popular hotel booking sites indicated the JW Marriott Bangkok’s best internet rate was 4,990 baht, while the Marriott Resort and Spa on Bangkok’s riverside was quoted at 3,380 baht.
The hotel company’s Courtyard Bangkok was selling at 2,858 baht.

World Bank bullish on Thailand

Earth Times
Thailand’s economy was expected to grow 6.1 per cent this year despite the political turmoil in March to May, without which it could have grown 7 per cent, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

The World Bank said a dramatic jump in exports during the first half of this year led to its projection for substantial GDP growth despite the anti-government protests.

“The good news is that Thailand continued to see a robust economic recovery in the first two quarters of 2010 despite the political turmoil,” World Bank economist Frederico Gil Sander said.

Thailand’s exports grew 34 per cent year-on-year in the first five months of 2010 and were seemingly unaffected by the political instability.

— Gazette Editors

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Phuket

Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment

The Thaiger

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Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment | The Thaiger

A man has been found hanged in Phuket Town apartment yesterday. Police are treating the cases as a suicide at the moment.

The man was found hanged from the apartment’s ceiling fan. His lifeless body was discovered around 11am after neighbours complained to the manager about the smell coming from the man’s room.

Police and the local Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers attended the scene. Police later confirmed the incident happened in room on the 3rd floor of an apartment lock in Soi Phoonphol Soi 1, Talat Nuea in Phuket Town. Police said the man was 35-45 years of age and had a 29 year old girlfriend from Chumphon. He was paying 1,000 baht a month and had been renting the room for 2 months. Police estimate that the man had been dead for at least 3 days.

Police told media that the man had used, what appeared to be a dress, tied around his neck and then to the room’s roof fan. The apartment manager told police that he had been late on on his recent rent, speculating that the man may have been suffering financial hardship.

The man’s identity has not been released at this stage.

His body was taken to Vachira Hospital for an autopsy.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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Tourism

Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule

The Thaiger

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Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Airways' ATR72, servicing the re-introduced routes

Some domestic routes are being added as local routes continue to expand. This time Bangkok Airways has announced it’s resuming its Samui-Phuket, Phuket-Hat Yai and Phuket-Pattaya/Rayong (U-Tapao) flights.

The first additions to the schedule will be the Phuket-Samui flights resuming this Sunday, October 25, and the Phuket-Pattaya flights start again next Tuesday, October 27. The Phuket-Samui flights will be operating on Sundays and Wednesdays only on the airlines’ ATR72 turbo prop regional planes, same as before.

A casual search on the Bangkok Airways website, for a return flight from Phuket to Samui on November 1, then back to Phuket on November 8 indicates the cheapest fare (promo) is 2,430 baht. Coming back, the cheapest fare we found, again labelled ‘promo’, was 2,630 baht. Bangkok Airways operate as a “full service” airline and don’t compete with the country’s discount airlines. But they operate these three routes exclusively – like it or leave it.

Bangkok Airways say that the flights will be operated “with the highest preventive measures and standards”. Around the country the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand have eased a few of the onboard restrictions, including the start of catering services which were originally banned under the initial flight rules when domestic routes started flying again at the start of July.

The daily direct services between Phuket and Hat Yai are also being operated on the ATR72 aircraft. The flight to Ha Yai leaves Phuket at 8.40am and arrives at Hat Yai at 9:.45am. The return flights leave Hat Yai back to Phuket at 10.25am each day. The route was very popular for the airline before the ‘disruption’ when airlines had their fleets grounded in April.

The service between Phuket and U-Tapao, linking the party city with the party island, will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, again with the ATR72. Phuket to U-Tapao will leave at 12.10pm and then from U-Tapao to Phuket at 4pm on the three days. U-Tapao is about a 50 minute drive from Pattaya and the airport also serves the greater Rayong area.

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Phuket

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket

Maya Taylor

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4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket. PHOTO: Booking.com

Phuket officials are setting aside around 4 billion baht to transform medical tourism in the southern province of Phuket, by developing a state-of-the-art treatment hub in the north of the island. The Bangkok Post reports that the Treasury department is planning to give the Public Health Ministry permission to use 141 rai of government land in the sub-district of Mai Khao, close to Phuket International Airport. It’s not the first time the proposal has come to light.

The concept is gathering support as Phuket battles to diversify its attraction beyond a tropical holiday island.

The aim is to develop Phuket as a world-class health and wellness destination, with facilities that will attract medical tourists from all over the world, as well as providing a high standard of treatment to the local population. It’s understood the facility will provide a full range of health services, including long-term care, and hospice and rehabilitation services.

The island already has a well-developed medical tourism market, but has been based around local hospitals and clinics linking up with foreign marketing companies in the past. “The International Medical and Public Health Service” has been conceived to create more long term financial security and diversification, and value-added tourism in Phuket, as the island has taken a heavy financial hit over the past 7 months.

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

The plan was first suggested in 2017, by then governor, Noraphat Plodthong and confirmed by the director of Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, Dr. Chalermpong Sukontapol, in July. At that stage, the estimated budget was 3-4 billion baht. The director-general of the Treasury department, Yuthana Yimkarun, says the plot is being offered to the Health Ministry for free. The land is thought be worth around 1 billion baht.

Yuthana says the ministry will manage investment, with approximately 2 billion baht required for the first stage of the project. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed over 2 years.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that unused government land that is currently managed by various government agencies may be moved under the remit of central government, with a view to increasing its worth. According to the Bangkok Post report, just 4% of government land is directly managed by the Treasury. The other 96% is controlled by various government agencies. Yuthana says the plan is to increase the percentage of state-owned land under the Treasury’s management to 10% within 2 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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