Phuket fighting for Aussies

Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: Noting that new flights are one of the biggest drivers of competition between resort destinations, the Sydney Morning Herald reports this morning that Phuket and Fiji, which are receiving new services from Jetstar and V Australia, are offering rock-bottom deals in the battle for Australian tourists.

Australian visitor numbers for Phuket were up substantially during the first three months of the year, but violent political clashes last month put the brakes on.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand now states that it is unlikely the country will meet its target of 670,000 Australian visitors this year.

Travelers to return in June?

Travel Daily News
Despite warnings from the British FCO, cheap flight site Skyscanner reports that tourists have so far not been dissuaded from flying to the Thai capital for their summer holidays.

Skyscanner’s data revealed that there has been no reduction in global searches for flights to Bangkok for travel in June, July and August 2010.

Skyscanner Co-founder and Market Development Director Barry Smith says:

“We suspect many travelers believe the unrest will be over by summer, or are unaware of the situation altogether, which has been partly overshadowed in the news by the volcano disruption. Bangkok remains an extremely popular destination and currently ranks as the 13th most popular flight search on the Skyscanner site.”

Many protest victims still hospitalized

Bangkok Post
Sixty people injured in April’s deadly and violent clashes between protesters and government forces in Thailand remain in hospital.

The Erawan Emergency Medical Center said 44 victims from the most violent of clashes, on April 10, were still being treated in hospital, including four patients in intensive care.

Seven people injured in the April 22 grenade attack in Silom Rd are still in hospital, one in ICU. Nine people wounded in the clash last Wednesday on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road near the National Memorial in Pathum Thani are still in hospital, one in intensive care.

Solar energy gets boost in Thailand

Earth Times
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan of 70 million dollars to finance a 73-megawatt solar power plant in central Thailand, the bank announced Monday.

The plant is expected to be one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic projects.

“Solar energy is an abundant resource throughout Thailand and therefore has huge potential to fill the rising demand from Thai businesses, communities and households,” said Joe Yamagata, deputy director general of ADB’s private sector operations department.

About 90 per cent of Thailand’s electricity currently comes from natural gas, coal, and lignite.

The Thai government has set goal of obtaining 20 per cent of its energy supply from renewable sources by 2022.

— Gazette Editors

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