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Phuket bag charge delayed by two months

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket bag charge delayed by two months | The Thaiger
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PHUKET CITY: The launch of a plastic bag charging schemewhich aims to reduce the amount of garbage generated on Phuket has been postponed for more than two months.

Phuket Energy Office chief Jirasuk Tummawetch said the slated December 5 launch date did not leave enough time to promote the project sufficiently.

The scheme will see major retailers such as Central, Big C, Tesco-Lotus, Makro, Supercheap and Jungceylon charge shoppers one baht for a plastic bag with a five-liter capacity or less and two baht for larger bags.

Mr Jirasuk was speaking following a meeting to discuss the scheme at Provincial Hall yesterday.

In attendance were new Phuket Vice Governor Teerayut Eimtrakul, Phuket Public Health Office Deputy Director Wiwat Seetamanotch and Nick Anthony, managing director of Indigo Real Estate, who came up with the idea for the project.

“Vice Gov Teerayut commented that to launch the project on December 5 wouldn’t leave enough time to promote the scheme to the island’s residents,” Mr Jirasuk said. “We agreed to postpone until February 14 to give us more time.”

Mr Jirasuk said one idea agreed upon was to record Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop speaking in support of the scheme. The recording would be played on radio stations and on the shop floors of participating retailers.

Local organizations have also been asked to supply cloth bags to substitute for those made of plastic, he said.

Mr Jirasak said Phuket Energy Office welcomes any comments regarding the project and invites anyone with suggestions to call the office on 076-210178-9.

Nick Anthony described government support at both local and national level as excellent.

Central Festival Phuket will host a public awareness campaign next Monday morning with 40 retailers setting up displays to promote the campaign and bring everybody on board, he said.

Central has also agreed to donate all proceeds from the sale of plastic bags to charity, he said.

Mr Anthony said he hopes that the successful launch will be the first step in a source reduction strategy that will eventually see retailers mutually agree to cut down or even eliminate the distribution of advertising circulars that are also a large component of the waste stream.

He is also working with environmental activist and sea kayak tourism pioneer John Gray to extend the plastic bag strategy to cover Phang Nga Bay as soon as possible.

Asked if major convenience store chains like 7-Eleven were signed up for the initiative, he said the management of CP Group which operates the chain on a franchise basis were seriously considering the proposal.

7-Eleven stores in China and other countries have already started to charge for plastic bags, he said.

Mr Anthony said he hopes support among retailers at all levels will be so thorough that those failing to take part will be boycotted by shoppers.

The delay in the launch is to allow stores time to prepare alternatives to plastic and educate the public, he said.

Mr Anthony said that one of the keys to success would be getting support from local administrative bodies in ensuring that all retailers in their jurisdiction, including small ‘mom-and-pop’ shops, are aware of the campaign and actually take part in it.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan & Stephen Fein

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

Phuket

Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Hotels Association

Phuket tops a list of the cheapest travel destinations with a 1 night stay at a hotel costing on average less than $30 USD, according to a study by the German travel company Dertour. Phuket is going through what some say is a “crisis”, certainly a current tourist vacuum. The island province largely relies on income from foreign tourists, but with travel bans over the last 7 months, hotels and other businesses in the tourism industry have been at a loss.

For domestic tourists, Phuket currently offers a serene, peaceful tropical stay where you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself. There are plenty of daily flights to the island, but all from domestic locations at this stage – the international terminal remains closed.

Along with being listed as hotels with the lowest price, Phuket also made the top 5 cities with the largest price drop from 2019 to 2020, according to Dertour’s 2020 Accommodation Price Index. The company studied hotel prices for 75 popular tourist destinations around the world. Bangkok was just above Phuket at the fourth city with the largest hotel price drop. Bangkok hotel prices dropped by 34.6% while Phuket’s hotel prices dropped by 33.8%.

Prices will continue to be low, CEO DER Touristik Central Europe Ingo Burmester says…

“Travel itself will be cheap in 2021… Although it has been a challenging period, we have seen a great deal of interest in domestic travel. We also predict a major catch-up effect for Mediterranean destinations, European trips and long-haul routes in 2021 as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.”

Phuket ranks as the destination with the cheapest accommodation prices at an average price of $29 USD, according to the list. Average prices for 3-star hotels are $26 USD and an average of $54 USD for 5-star hotels.

Bangkok followed, ranking fifth on the list of cities with the lowest hotel price at an average of $43 USD per night. 3-star hotels in Bangkok average at $30 per night and 5-star hotels average at $93 USD.

Top 5 destinations with the lowest price in accommodation

  1. Phuket: Average of $29 USD per night
  2. Delhi: Average of $34 USD per night
  3. Kuala Lumpur: Average of $36 USD per night
  4. Bali: Average of $36 USD per night
  5. Bangkok: Average of $43 USD per night

Top 5 destinations with the largest price drop in accommodation

  1. Amsterdam: Dropped by 51.6%
  2. San Francisco: Dropped by 39.2%
  3. Vancouver: Dropped by 37.1%
  4. Bangkok: Dropped by 34.6%
  5. Phuket: Dropped by 33.8%

To read Dertour’s full report, click HERE.

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Phuket

Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

A man was arrested on charges of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly sliced his friend’s face with a sickle, causing a gash about 25 centimetres long.

3 men, identified as Saeng, Ta and Rop, had been drinking at a shanty in Phuket’s Rassada district where Rop lived. An argument broke out over money. A bank transfer was apparently made, but no one received any money, according to Rop as he related the story to police.

The men didn’t come to an agreement and ended up going to bed. Ta stayed awake and slapped Saeng twice while he was falling asleep, Rop says. Saeng then got up, grabbed the sickle and swung the hooked blade across Ta’s cheek, Rop says.

Reports don’t go into detail about Ta’s condition, but photos of the scene by the Phuket News show a significant amount of blood on the concrete floor.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters

Maya Taylor

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PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket People's Voice

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is to arrive in Phuket on Monday, where he will meet with local business leaders and discuss proposals for reviving the southern island’s devastated tourism sector. It’s understood a representative of Phuket’s Old Town area is to put forward an idea for promoting the historic centre as a tourist destination.

Since borders were closed in late March, in an effort to protect the country from the Covid-19 pandemic, Phuket’s tourist revenue has plummeted to practically zero, with countless businesses shuttered and thousands of jobs lost.

In addition to hearing suggestions from local operators on how to revive tourism on the island, the PM will also listen to requests for additional help from central government. The much-discussed Phuket Model never materialised, despite being seen at one point as the pilot project on which a wider re-opening of borders would be based.

While hotel occupancy in the province has increased from a pitiful 13.4% in June, September’s rates were still woefully low, at just 30%. This is despite a stimulus package introduced by the government in an effort to boost domestic tourism.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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