– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.
PHUKET: The mass anti-government rally in Thailand appears to be losing steam. Tens of thousands have returned to their farms. They drew nowhere near the promised million protesters. But according to The Star Online, Thaksin’s red-shirted protesters, vilified as a thuggish mob after their street insurrection in Bangkok in 2008, may have regained some credibility as a non-violent political movement.
“The size of the protest, the show of emotion and discipline, has been impressive, and Thai people will have got the message quite strongly,” said Chris Baker, a Thailand-based author.
Meanwhile, a tiny contingent of less than 1,000 red shirts from Phuket remains in Bangkok, with the vast majority of Phuket people, like their compatriots throughout Thailand, bemused by the ghoulish and increasingly irrelevant antics of the red fringe skulking the capital.
The New York Times observes that Deputy PM Suthep Thuagsuban echoed the feelings of many educated Thais when he said that the blood protests had “sent a message to the world that some sections of the Thai populace are crazy about black magic, which is unscientific and uncivilized.”
Thai investors unfazed by protests
Thailand’s baht and the benchmark SET Index of shares both rose to their highest level since June 2008, buoyed by inflows of foreign capital as anti-government protests remained peaceful.
“Investors have been buying the baht and stocks as nothing serious has happened,” said Tetsuo Yoshikoshi, a senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. Overseas investors bought $38 million more of Thai shares than they sold yesterday, a 16th day of net purchases, boosting inflows this year to $597 million, according to stock exchange data.
Kim Eng Securities Pte said, “Local institutions are becoming increasingly confident that Thai politics will not interfere with the economy… the Thai stock market should move higher as liquidity continues to pour in.”
Elderly tourists like Phuket
New Straits Times
As is evident in Phuket, senior citizens are important to tourism. From Thailand to Germany, the gray-haired segment makes up a lucrative and fast-growing opportunity in the travel industry, with deep pockets, disposable income and free time, said Sybille Zeuch of the German Tourism Federation (DRV) at last week’s ITB in Berlin, the world’s biggest trade fair for the multi-billion-dollar global holiday industry.
“They have strong purchasing power, are interested in culture and are accustomed to travel,” she told AFP.
The elder tourists have little fear when it comes to choosing faraway locations for their holidays, agreed Thomas Graune, founder of German firm Studios, which offers cultural trips for the 50 to 60 crowd. “These people have increasingly exotic tastes. They’ve already seen Italy and Greece. Now they want to go to Ethiopia, Yemen or China,” he said.
Phuket: better value for money
New York Times
Major United States hotel chains are aggressively expanding into Asia, including Thailand, looking to create new options for travelers looking for familiar brands abroad. These chains tend to deliver more value at a cheaper rate abroad. For example, in Thailand, Courtyard hotels offer a free Children’s Club with a mini movie theater, science lab, pool table and video games, on top of the usual hotel pool with water slides. At the same time, prices are comparable if not cheaper than the United States counterparts that don’t offer all the extras.
The Courtyard Boca Raton in Florida, for example, was recently listed on the Marriott Website as $129 a night for a one-night stay in early April. The Courtyard Phuket at Kamala Beach: $110 a night.
Fish smuggler caught in Phuket
Hundreds of illegally caught aquarium fish were seized from a house in Phuket, Thailand. The owner of the house hired local fishermen to catch the fish with cyanide in coral reefs around the islands of Ko Racha and Ko Khai. Two hundred corals, 400 tropical fish and other animals were found in tanks throughout the house, some sick with cyanide poisoning.
The owner of the house told police he was going to smuggle the animals into Chiang Mai in northern Thailand to sell to collectors. He has been charged with possession of a protected species without permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Phuket doing its part
Bangkok expects to cut its electricity use by 2,000 megawatts during the global “Earth Hour” energy-saving campaign to be held on March 27, Deputy Governor Pornthep Techapaiboon says. Mr Pornthep yesterday said Bangkok and Phuket would join the 2010 Earth Hour along with 4,000 cities in 84 countries.
— Gazette Editors
‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people
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.
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.
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.
The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations
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.
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works
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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