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Phuket Governor petitioned to ’empower’ Coconut Island

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Governor petitioned to ’empower’ Coconut Island | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha was yesterday called on by villagers and at least one resort owner to instigate action in getting mains power to Koh Maphrao, better known as “Coconut Island”.

Families on the island have to pay at least 3,600 baht a month for diesel to power generators, claim village representatives, while The Village Coconut Island resort has spent more than 25 million baht on buying six generators alone.

The resort currently spends about 5mn baht a month on diesel to provide power to its own property as well as many local public facilities, including a mosque, a school, the health center and the island pier, said one letter of complaint filed with the governor.

The representatives pointed out that the Phuket Provincial Electricity Authority had said it would provide electricity to the island two years ago, but that that promise was never fulfilled.

“Based on this, we commenced the final phase of our development, expecting to have power to run the resort by the time we finished. To date, this has not arrived and we have run out of money due to having to pay more than 5 million baht a month for generating our own electricity, plus having to spend over 25mn baht on six generators,” said the complaint.

“Since the start of the village, we have invested well over 2 billion baht. We have employed thousands of contractors. We currently employ 300 staff, many from the local island population and Laem Hin. When we arrived six years ago, Laem Hin had no taxis; there are now at least 12. We use local laundries and many other local suppliers. All of these [people] are about to lose their jobs or income,” the complaint added.

Paying the power bills for the community is sending the resort broke. Although no name was attached to the resort complaint, it read, “For the last six months I have been trying to get further funding from our bank, other banks or investors. No one will lend us money or invest because of the electricity problem.

“Last month I had to put the last of my own money into the company to pay the staff wages. I have personally invested around 250 million baht of my own money,”

Village chief Younope Petdee said some families had bought solar panels to try to generate cheaper electricity to power their homes.

“But the solar panels we bought can be used for only about for years and they are not cheap,” he said.

“We have been waiting for electricity for more than 30 years. There are about 180 families – more than 700 people – and many resorts on the island. Meanwhile, some families have to pay for diesel for their electricity generators. Even though they use electricity only at night, they have to pay about 120 baht for diesel every day. That’s a lot of money for us,” he told Gov Tri.

Wijarn Chuayprod, chief of the PPEA’s consumer service division, explained that years ago his office drew up plans to install underwater mains cables to supply power to Koh Maphrao, Koh Naka Yai and Koh Phra Thong in Phang Nga.

The projects for Koh Maphrao and Koh Naka Yai passed their Environment Impact Assessments (EIA), but not Koh Phra Thong.

“So the PPEA filed a report so we could go ahead and install power cables for Koh Maphrao and Koh Naka Yai only. The applications to go ahead with those projects are now with the central government in Bangkok. It will probably take one and a half years before the projects are complete,” Mr Wijarn said.

On hearing the complaints and the explanation from the PPEA, Governor Tri said he would follow up with the relevant organizations to make sure that the project is completed soon.

— 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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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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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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