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Phuket to feature in relaunch of ‘playground’

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket to feature in relaunch of ‘playground’ | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: The Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) plans to relaunch Ratchaprasong as Bangkok’s most favourite playground next month, when top executives of 30 multinational companies will be brought to Bangkok and Phuket on a fam trip.

Phuket gets into the act because TICA wants to ensure that high-level businessmen get to see first hand that there are excellent hotels and MICE venues here.

The executives will join a package starting on July 2, with hotels, spas, shops, department stores and restaurants pitching in to help restore Ratchaprasong’s image, which was badly tarnished by the red shirt riots and vandalism

TICA will also run further, similar trips for businessmen later this year, partnering with businesses in Phuket and other strategic provinces to present packages designed to remind upmarket travellers of what Thailand has to offer, and to “bring back smiles to society.”

Phuket could benefit from Bangkok LCC

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes believes Bangkok needs a dedicated Low Cost Carrier (LCC) air terminal at Don Mueang Airport to expand aviation and support tourism growth in the Thailand.

After talking about an LCC airport for four years, successive Thai governments have not shown any sign of going ahead, according to Mr Fernandes who claimed his suggestions were ignored due to politics.

Noting that the Thai market is “tiny” now, Fernandes claimed that “Thailand has huge potential but has fallen behind.” He pushed for increases in traffic to regional airports, including Phuket where AirAsia maintains a hub, but did not suggest that Phuket International Airport, currently under major expansion, should incorporate an LCC facility in its plans.

Mr Fernandes also advocates that the Airports of Thailand should reduce its Passenger Service Charge from 700 baht to 250 baht.

“700 baht is very high, one of the highest in the region. In Malaysia…the fee has dropped to 250 baht and traffic has shot up,” he said.

The CEO made his comments during the launch of AirAsia’s “It’s OK, Thailand” campaign late last week.

Virgin Blue may abandon Phuket

Australian airline company Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd may cut its Phuket routes, reduce the number of brands it flies from three to one, and focus more on business travel and its loyalty program under new Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti.

The carrier may decide to increase U.S. services through its partnership with Delta Airlines when it completes its route review this month, and may consolidate its Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and V Australia brands under the name Virgin Australia Airlines.

The Phuket service, flown by V Australia, was launched only six months ago, on December 3, and currently operates three times a week between Phuket and Australia.

Golf record at Laguna Phuket

The Times of India
There was record low scoring and a 13-year-old boy ranked among the top players in an exciting opening day of the Mercedes-Benz Masters in Phuket on Tuesday.

Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat, Ratsak Hansapiban and Pattaraphol Khanthacha, and Singaporean Lam Chih Bing, lead the way after confident rounds at the Laguna Phuket Golf Club with course record five-under-par 65s.

They lead by a shot from Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul, winner of last year’s Mercedes-Benz Tour Order of Merit list.

But stealing the limelight in the fourth event of the season on the Mercedes-Benz Tour was teenager Pinsawat Pariwat who lives on Phuket Island and shot a 67.

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV are sponsors of this four-day event, which ends on Saturday.

Andara Phuket golf package

Asia Travel Tips
The Andara Resort & Villas in Phuket has launched a Golf Getaway package that includes:

– One night in an 1 or 2 bedroom pool suite or 3 bedroom pool villa
– Daily breakfast in the renowned SILK restaurant or in-Villa room service
– A round of 18 holes per person at one of Phuket’s leading golf courses
– A complimentary reflexology spa treatment, with additional treatments enjoying a 10% discount

The offer is valid until October 31, 2010.

Thai trade down with North Korea

Asia Times
North Korea’s trade with Brazil has recently increased almost at the same pace that it has decreased with Thailand, from where it previously sourced dual-use chemicals, raw materials and machinery.

Thailand no longer figures prominently in recent trade statistics, which is noteworthy given that their two-way trade reached a record US$331 million in 2004.

Those deals were done under the government of Thaksin Shinawatra, who at one point even proposed signing a full-blown free-trade agreement with North Korea. When Thaksin was ousted in a September 2006, Thai-North Korean relations began to deteriorate.

By 2008, bilateral trade between Thailand and North Korea fell to $76 million, and in 2009 dipped further to only $47.1 million.

Successive Thai governments since Thaksin’s overthrow are believed to have complied more favorably with international pressure to restrict dealings with North Korea.

— Gazette Editors


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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket restrictions and bans to stay in place until end of May

Tim Newton



Phuket’s list of current ‘Covid’ restrictions have been extended until at least May 31. All the current levels of restrictions will remain until the end of the month after the Phuket Governor announced the continuation of restrictions this afternoon.

Daily new infection numbers continue to add to the island’s total of 556 since the start of April. The island’s latest wave started after a series of events, mostly Bangkok partygoers flying down for parties at Café Del Mar in Kamala, Illusion and Shelter, both in Bangla Road. The parties were organised by a Thong Lor based events company called Kolour. The daily numbers, whilst relatively stable, have not been going down as officials were hoping.

The announcement also puts any hope of a July 1 ‘quarantine free’ tourism opening in severe doubt. The island’s vaccine roll out has also slowed since the initial flurry of enthusiasm. Only 22% of Phuket’s population has currently been vaccinated (a long way ahead of the rest of the country) whilst the minimum vaccination level has to reach 70% according to the Government before they will entertain the ‘Sandbox’ opening proposal.

Entry to the island, by road or air, will remain restricted and anyone without proof of vaccination or a current PCR Covid test (within 72 hours) will have to do a full 14 day quarantine period (after May 15). The rapid Covid tests that were being conducted at the airport and Tha Chatchai Checkpoint are being stopped from this Saturday.

Notably, following the story of foreigners in Cherngtalay being fined 6,000 baht each for hosting a party at their home on Sunday night, the ban on gatherings and parties will continue.

Meanwhile, the island has reported its first death during the third wave of cases since the start of April, and a new cluster of infections in the Phoon Pon district in Phuket Town. The man that died was a 71 year old man who died yesterday morning.

Phuket restrictions and bans to stay in place until end of May | News by Thaiger


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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 infections cast doubt on plan to reopen Phuket July 1

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: Phuket may not be ready to welcome back visitors July 1st.

With surging Covid-19 infections, the original plan for Phuket to reopen the international border to tourism on July 1st without quarantine may be unlikely. The governor warned today that the plan may be in jeopardy if they don’t reach the proposed May 15 goal of reducing infections to less than 10 each day. Governor Narong Woonciew called on everyone to work together to keep the infections down as the current rate of 10 to 15 per day will almost definitely delay the sandbox plan for international visitors to arrive in Phuket without quarantine in July.

Daily infections are on the rise in Phuket and high-risk people in local quarantine are still spreading infections, according to the provincial health officer’s assessment of the Covid-19 situation. During proactive screening an active case finding, new clusters of infections continue to be uncovered, a problem that has been attributed to continued partying and social gatherings that violate current Covid-19 restrictions. The health officials warned that, as a result, more aggressive actions may be necessary to control the spread of the Coronavirus in Phuket if it is to reopen in July.

Under the current restrictions of the Covid-19 emergency decree, even two people that aren’t from the same household joining together for socializing or mingling could be considered a gathering and punishable with legal action. Officials are speaking out about the threat of more Covid-19 outbreaks due to large gatherings, citing several events that were broken up recently.

One such group in Phuket garnered a lot of attention online with many people surprised that it was considered a gathering and busted up. A group of six British and Thai people that the police raided yesterday at a home in Thalang were reportedly drinking and celebrating. This is a violation of the disease decree and local Covid-19 safety measures, and 2 British nationals were charged a 6000 baht fine each.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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30 year old Thai woman found dead in car in Patong from apparent suicide




Photo via The Phuket News

The Thaiger acknowledges that the names of the family and the contents of a suicide note were published in error in an earlier version of this story. We have spoken to the writer and can assure readers that this will never happen again. We apologise for the distress caused.

A 30 year old Thai woman has been found dead in her car, in Patong, from an apparent suicide. The woman’s car was parked by the side of the Sirirat Road, which links Patong and Karon. Police and rescue workers arrived at the scene to find the body of ‘Kanokwan’ (surname withheld), slumped in the driver’s seat of a Phuket-registered Honda Jazz.

Police say they found an electric pan with burnt charcoal behind the driver’s seat in the back. They say this was the cause of death as she likely died from asphyxiation. They also say they found a suicide letter.

The woman’s mother ‘Boonlap’ says that she has accepted her daughter’s death was from a probably suicide. Her body was taken to Patong Hospital for further examination before being released to her relatives for a funeral.

It is not known whether the Covid pandemic had any effect on Kanokwan but job losses, bankruptcies, sickness and fear are just a few of the side-affects during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For many in Thailand and all over the world, this has a profound impact on the mental health of everyday people. The suicide rate in Thailand has also seen a spike, with 22% more suicides recorded in the first half of 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019. A sharp increase not witnessed since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

Even before the pandemic struck, Thailand was on record as having the most suicides of any country in SE Asia. As per WHO data, in 2019 Thailand’s suicide rate was 14.4 per 100k population, compared to a global average of 10.5 per 100k population.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand at their 24-hour hotline 02-713-6791 (English), 02713-6793 (Thai) or Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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