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Phuket Sports: Quiksilver Open at Patong Beach update

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: Quiksilver Open at Patong Beach update | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Women’s division competitors were the first to be sent out yesterday morning under sunny tropical skies and two foot waves, to kick off day one of the 6-star ASC/ISC sanctioned Quiksilver Open Phuket at Patong Beach.

Local Thai surfer and current ASC rankings leader Annissa Flynn had no trouble winning her heat and looks in fine form to make it into the finals on Saturday, which will secure her the 2012 Asian Surfing Championship Women’s title if she wins, to be awarded on Saturday night.

Also advancing into the semifinals, with impressive performances today, were Taiwan’s Jesse Hong and Indonesia’s Gamala Hanafia. Hanafia took the highest combined heat score honors with a total of 9.75, while Hong scored a close second with 9.25.

Stephanie Gilmore will be giving a surf clinic Saturday afternoon as well as appearing to help open the new Quiksilver Women’s store in the Jungceylon Shopping Center on Friday evening. She may even catch a few waves of her own in between. While watching the first heats of the Women’s Division, she commented, “Wow, I’m really surprised that there are this many girls competing here. I thought there would maybe be 5 or 6, so to see this many is amazing.”

Then it was on to the longboard division action, where after a trial heat and heat one the contest was suspended as a storm front moved through. Heavy winds and rain delayed the action for a couple of hours, but resumed with larger and more powerful surf to finish off the remaining three scheduled heats.

Arip “Mencos” Hidayat from West Java, the 2011 ASC Longboard champ and current ratings leader, put on an impressive performance in the challenging conditions of heat one to advance to the semifinals.

In the last heat today, #2 ranked Luke Landrigan drew applause from the crowd with two nose rides and some big turns in stormy waves to win his heat.

“It was a lot better out there than in looked from the beach,” said Landrigan. “With the increase in size from the storm there was more power to work with, so I’m glad we took that break. I’m really looking forward to getting through the semifinals to see if I can best Mencos. He’s got a really good bag of tricks and he’s the reigning champion, so I’ll need some luck for sure,” he added.

Two rounds of the Men’s Open Division also took place today, as well as the first round of the Master’s Division, with the competition kicking off at 7:30am.

The swell is predicted to increase substantially overnight, and even with the onshore winds it will make for great conditions to get the early rounds of the Men’s Open underway.

In his speech, the Mayor of Patong Beach thanked Quiksilver as well as all the sponsors for selecting his town to host this extraordinary surfing event for the second year in a row, and then Quiksilver SEA CEO Paul Hutson presented him a check for 50,000 Baht (almost $1,700 USD) on behalf of the Quiksilver Foundation.

During the next few days of competition there will be exciting skate and BMX demonstrations by DC teams from America and Australia and mini ramps have been set up beachside for all to watch.

So tell everybody you know to come on down to Patong Beach in Phuket for the next 3 days of amazing action both in and out of the water. And yes, the rumor that a super talented progressive free surfer from Western Australia will be flying in to show off at the event is true…Ry Craike is here.

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

Tourism

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

A tourism route from Guangzhou, China to Phuket could help the island province recover from the recession brought on by the pandemic and lack of foreign travel, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The president of the organisation, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, says they plan to submit a letter proposing the route under a travel bubble scheme to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is proposing a travel bubble with around 20 cities in China with no recent coronavirus infections and considered to be at a low risk of spreading the virus. Travellers from Guangzhou recently entered Thailand on the new Special Tourist Visa. It was the second flight of international tourists since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

“We believe that the Travel Bubble and the quarantine reduction will resolve the tourism business, which is a huge economic opportunity to recover.”

Once a vaccine is widely available, Narongsak suggests that those who wish to Thailand could also present their vaccination certificate or examination reports from the place of origin. He adds that the mandatory state quarantine period is likely to be reduced.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket officials concerned about virus risk from undocumented migrant workers

Maya Taylor

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Phuket officials concerned about virus risk from undocumented migrant workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The discovery that 3 Thai nationals infected with Covid-19 returned from Myanmar and bypassed health checks and quarantine, has officials in Phuket on high alert. Over the weekend, it was discovered that a 29 year old Thai woman had illegally crossed from Myanmar and subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 after admitting herself to a Chiang Mai hospital. 2 other women who worked with her have also tested positive for the virus.

Phuket’s deputy governor, Pichet Panapong, says news of the 3 infected Thai women who managed to enter Thailand without undergoing any health checks or mandatory quarantine, has officials on the southern island worried. He adds that local authorities are monitoring Burmese workers, calling on them to follow disease control measures if returning to Phuket from Myanmar. (It would appear he missed the bit about the 3 infected women being Thai, not Burmese)

In a report in the Bangkok Post, Pichet says officials are considering setting up a quarantine facility for any migrant workers already in Phuket illegally, adding that of the 59,900 registered migrant workers on the island, 80% are Burmese. The Thailand/Myanmar border is longer than 2,000 kilometres with hundreds of official and “natural” border crossings.

“People can also act as eyes and ears for the authorities. If they find something suspicious in their communities, they should alert immigration police or local police.”

Phuket has 21 alternative quarantine properties, offering over 2,500 rooms in total, but arrival numbers are low. It’s understood that only 11 people have applied to enter Phuket in the period December 4 – 12, and so far, only a single application has been received for January. There are currently 726 people in local quarantine, 20 in alternative local quarantine, and 4 people carrying out yacht quarantine. Since Phuket agreed to receive foreign-registered yachts, 6 vessels have entered its waters, with all passengers and crew carrying out quarantine on board, 6 kilometres from shore.

Pichet says that, at a meeting of the communicable disease control committee, the Thai Yachting Business Association submitted a proposal to manage cruise ships, and officials have also received a request to extend the opening hours of shopping malls over the New Year holiday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

Bill Barnett

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Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent | The Thaiger

Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted to limited ASQ traffic. The situation is dire, when you consider that between 15-20% of Thailand’s GDP is linked to tourism.

In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke clearly that only when a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented, would the country open to substantial tourism. Given the current timelines and forecasts, this may not be likely until mid-2021 at the earliest, though subject to advancement if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.

For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021, for the most part, will see a continued reliance on domestic travellers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.

Given the winter spike in Asia, Europe, and North America of Covid-19, Thailand is not alone in relying on the vaccine to return tourism but the process will not be instant and the re-openings of borders will most certainly be staged.

HERE’s a list of 113 Alternative State Quarantine hotels.

The business reality for Phuket and across Thailand is to plan for the worst in the coming six months and only expect 2022 to see a notable uptick.

Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.

While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. ‘Survive the downturn’ is the new mantra.

No vaccine, no entry. Read more HERE.

No vaccine, no flight. Read more HERE.

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