– 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: Football officials in Phuket have high hopes that the island will become the next haven for the AFC’s Vision Asia program.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, is the governing body of Asian football and one of the six Confederations making up FIFA. Responsible for running football in Asia, including Thailand, the AFC manages the Vision Asia Project which it set up to develop grassroots and youth football across the continent. (Further details at the-afc.com)
Eam Thavornvongwongse, president of the Phuket Sports Association, sees the Vision Thailand Project Phuket as a good opportunity to realize a lifelong wish – to see more players from Phuket wearing the national team jersey.
“I would like to see the re-emergence of players from our region… [but] there is still a lot to be done before Phuket football becomes more organized and systematic.” He wants FC Phuket, currently second in the Southern Region of the province-based Thai Second Division, to gain promotion to the First Division next year.
FC Phuket is sponsored by the Phuket Gazette. For details of the Club’s background and recent performance, see front page of the current issue of the Gazette, on newsstands this morning. (Subscribers to the online Digital Gazette, click here.)
Update: Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2010
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is entering its 24th year, and the Organising Committee continue to innovate new twists.
Race Director Simon James says: “We have undertaken a review of Classes and Courses and have sought feedback from participants to see how the sailing can be improved and ensure we are catering to the vast diversity of boats and participants we have.”
In addition to the introduction of the Modern Classic Class (i.e., ‘less young’ boats), developments in 2009 saw the re-introduction of dinghy sailing and a re-designed monohull Cruising Class.
More changes are said to be in the pipeline.
The Phuket Gazette and PGTV are sponsors of this premier Phuket-based event.
Protests damaging Thai tourism
The Sydney Morning Herald
Thai tourism is taking a battering as the latest gruesome protests in Bangkok have frightened off visitors to the Kingdom, better known for its white sands and smiles. Thai Travel Agents Association President Surapol Sritrakul said the crimson protests had led to many tour cancellations, particularly in key Asian markets, estimating that tourism figures were down 20-30 per cent on the yearly average. “Blood is scary. Many people think the protests could be violent. They think the blood could come from killing. It’s not a good image for Thailand,” said Surapol.
Meanwhile, for a different and closer-to-home perspective on the crimson capers’ impact on key tourism destination Phuket, at least, see yesterday’s NEWS Hound here.
PM wants to unite Thailand
Thailand’s PM Abhisit Vejijjiva appears confident with the way he has handled the anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok so far, but admits the country was divided, and not just between the cities and the rural areas. “I’m saying that the divisions do run deep, and that political differences occur in a democracy,” he said. “But we have to stick to the rule of law.”
Mr Abhisit said he was doing all he could to bring Thailand together, including policies to help the economy in the countryside, adding that he had offered to meet the red-shirt protest leaders in order to tackle their grievances.
Thailand’s exports booming
Thailand’s exports rose 23.15 per cent year-on-year in February, to 14.4 billion dollars, as agricultural exports jumped and the sales of Thai products to developing Asian countries grew, the Commerce Ministry said yesterday. It was the fourth month in a row that Thailand saw a year-on-year rise in exports, the country’s main engine for economic growth.
Imports in February shot up 71.2 per cent to13.96 billion dollars, leaving Thailand with a trade surplus of 439 million. The Commerce Ministry expected Thai exports to grow 14 per cent this year and reach a total value of 170 billion dollars.
No cancellation of Lao flights to Thailand
Lao Airlines is optimistic that the political turmoil in Bangkok will not have a major impact on its business operations. The state-owned aviation company’s marketing director, Sitthideth Douangsiththy, says the airline will continue flights to Bangkok as normal – despite the fact that the Lao government has issued a warning advising its citizens not to travel to Thailand.
Passenger numbers on Lao Airlines’ Vientiane-Bangkok flights have not changed since the demonstrations began last Friday, he said. The Thai capital is a vital regional transport hub, so the vast majority of tourists travelling to Laos do so via Thailand. So any disturbances there also affect Laos.
— Gazette Editors
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