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Phuket

Phuket Governor cracks down on illegal alien workers

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Governor cracks down on illegal alien workers | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop yesterday morning convened a meeting of local government office representatives, ordering them to crack down on illegal alien workers harming the Phuket tourism industry.

The meeting took place at Phuket Provincial Hall, where representatives from the local Immigration, Employment, Culture, Fine Arts and Revenue Department offices were among those ordered to carry out the crackdown.

The problem of illegal alien workers was not confined to illegal low-wage workers from Burma, Cambodia and Laos, Gov Wichai said.

There are also Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, stateless Rohingyas and Korean tour guides among the ranks of those working without work permits or doing jobs different to those specified in their work papers, he said.

“This is especially true in Patong, where there are beach boys, tour guides, waiters and sales people, for example.

Soi Bangla is full of alien workers who are working jobs different to those specified in their work permits and which are reserved for Thai nationals, he said.

Gov Wichai expressed dissatisfaction that the issue has remained largely ignored, despite the fact that as many as eight different government agencies have the authority to act.

“Even some media businesses are under the control of foreigners or employ foreign editors. Officers need to strictly scrutinize these businesses to determine which are working legally and which are not,” he said.

“If alien workers have work permits and follow all the regulations, we can’t do anything to them, but we need to find out which are working legally and which are not,” he said.

Noting the lack of manpower needed to carry out these investigations, Gov Wichai said he was prepared to call on the military to help if needed.

“When they make such problems as committing crimes or encroaching on public land it makes Phuket look bad. Tourists don’t know that it is not Thai people creating these problems, so we have to find the illegal aliens responsible,” he said.

After the grace period for workers from Burma, Cambodia and Laos expires at the end of October, the ensuing crackdown will target workers from every country, not just neighboring states, he said.

“We will examine them one-by-one, in great detail,” he said.

“They live here together as entire families, destroying our resources, producing trash, using our water supplies…and competing for jobs with Thai people. This is a real weak point for Thailand,” he said.

“If we taxed them all, we could generate a great deal more revenue,” he said.

Officials have ignored the problem for so long that Thai nationals are now suffering as a result, he said.

Gov Wichai gave as an example the situation at Vachira Phuket Hospital, where Thai nationals need to wait a long time to be seen by overworked physicians because of the large number of Burmese that go there for treatment.

To reverse the trend he called on all police branches to arrest illegal aliens and create an atmosphere in which foreign nationals will think twice before trying to enter the country illegally.

He described as another ‘weak point’ the fact that illegal businesses always seem to know in advance when officers are coming to make inspections.

“It happened last time we went out to check the bars,” he said.

Once the grace period passes, a meeting of representatives from all relevant government agencies would be called to co-ordinate the work effort.

The work of the government officers involved would also be scrutinized to ensure they do their part, he said.

“If we don’t solve the problem, it will affect tourism in Phuket,” he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.

The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.

The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.

Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.

As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.

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