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Phuket to host ‘Global Ad Awards’, maybe

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

PHUKET: Adman Patrick Ferrara has launched a campaign to promote ‘Global Advertising Awards’, to be held in Phuketin Febuary 2011, and he claims it will outdo, and eventually overtake, the 2010 Cannes Lions advertising fest.

According to Advertising Age, Mr Ferrara is holding out the prospect of the new Phuket event becoming the ‘world’s most coveted award’ within three to five years.

The cost of entry will be lower than Cannes, and the judges will be clients instead of peers, with awards covering print, television, radio, the Internet and other media he said.

The Ad Association in Thailand is supposedly committing 16 million baht in funding to the cause.

But Advertising Age, the benchmark ad industry publication in the United States, points out that this sum would hardly make a dent in the cost of hosting the representatives of “50 of the world’s top advertisers and 50 of the world’s top agencies” that Mr Ferrara says he wants to bring to Phuket.

And the journal asks, “So just who is Mr Ferrara anyway?”

He apparently claims he’d be able to outdo the Cannes Lions because he helped to start them. But a Cannes Lions spokeswoman, Ad Age says, states they’ve never heard of him.

For more information, but not much, see the event’s official website at theglobaladvertisingawards.com

But, hey – regardless of the hype, and despite the skepticism of Advertising Age and the anorexia of the official website, Phuket could benefit from the glitz, glamour, publicity and panache that could radiate from an event such as this. So why not give it a chance?

Kidnapper nabbed in Phuket

WYFF4.com
An American man accused of taking his 3-year-old to Thailandin violation of a custody order more than a year ago has been taken into custody in Phuket.

Samuel Lee Horton, 38, of Greenville, South Carolina, is being escorted back to the United States by FBI special agents. He was arrested in Phuket on Monday. Horton is expected to arrive in Los Angeles tonight (June 9) and is expected to make a court appearance on Thursday.

Investigators said Horton was charged by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office with violating a custody order involving his child on May 5, 2009.

After investigators learned that Horton had taken the child out of the country, a federal warrant for his arrest for ‘unlawful flight to avoid prosecution’ was issued.

Further investigation into the matter led to the issuance of a federal grand jury indictment for fraud in connection with a passport he secured for the child.

Horton faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment if convicted of these offenses.

Assistant U. S. Attorney David Stephens commended FBI Special Agent Lisa Quillen for her efforts in locating Horton and insuring the safe return of the child.

Expat deals at Panwa Phuket

Focus on Travel News
The Bel Air Resort & Spa at Cape Panwa in Phuket, which says it offersthe largest and most spacious ocean view suites in Phuket, is offering a ‘Thai Resident Promotion’ (for Thaisand expatriates based in Thailand) with rates starting at just 1,900 baht per suite per night.

The offer is for a two-bedroom Luxury Suite with two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and large terrace for the entire family. The rate is valid until Oct 31 and requires a minimum stay of two nights.

The Thai Resident Promotion also offers two-bedroom Plunge Pool Suite or a two-bedroom Pool Access Suite for 2,900 baht per night, and a 3-bedroom Suite for 3,500.

All rates include breakfasts for 4-6 persons.

For more information or to book, see [email protected]

Media sensationalized protests

Travel Daily News
Following the political tensions on the streets of Bangkok, the challenge for the Thai tourist industry now is to help travelers distinguish between the perceived threat and the actual threat.

Protests in Thailandare very compartmentalized and very contained, but that impression is difficult to convey when headlines suggest the worst. And the headlines from May are still with some travelers,” says Mark Siegel, CEO of Bangkok-based tour operator GolfAsian Co Ltd.

The Sydney Morning Herald also suggests media headlines surrounding the event were sensationalized, reporting in a June 5 story from Phuket: “The Australian government’s travel warnings to the whole of Thailandseemed overkill at best.”

Tourism stats suspect

TTRWeekly
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has released details of tourist arrivals at all checkpoints for the month of May, as well as the first five months of the year.

Despite a curfew and violent clashes in Bangkok, Thailand still welcomed 821,090 visitors last month, representing a 11% decline on 923,916 visitors recorded in May 2009.

Overall, the country’s performance improved 16% in the first five months of the year, with 6,563,099 visitors compared to 5,654,541 visitors during the same period in 2009.

Based on the ministry’s data, May was the only month showing a significant decline, with April down just 0.16% and March up 16.35%.

However, private sector representatives are critical of the ministry’s data, claiming it is inaccurate and out of date.

— Gazette Editors

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Phuket

Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment

The Thaiger

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Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment | The Thaiger

A man has been found hanged in Phuket Town apartment yesterday. Police are treating the cases as a suicide at the moment.

The man was found hanged from the apartment’s ceiling fan. His lifeless body was discovered around 11am after neighbours complained to the manager about the smell coming from the man’s room.

Police and the local Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers attended the scene. Police later confirmed the incident happened in room on the 3rd floor of an apartment lock in Soi Phoonphol Soi 1, Talat Nuea in Phuket Town. Police said the man was 35-45 years of age and had a 29 year old girlfriend from Chumphon. He was paying 1,000 baht a month and had been renting the room for 2 months. Police estimate that the man had been dead for at least 3 days.

Police told media that the man had used, what appeared to be a dress, tied around his neck and then to the room’s roof fan. The apartment manager told police that he had been late on on his recent rent, speculating that the man may have been suffering financial hardship.

The man’s identity has not been released at this stage.

His body was taken to Vachira Hospital for an autopsy.

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

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Tourism

Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule

The Thaiger

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Bangkok Airways add 3 new local routes to their schedule | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Airways' ATR72, servicing the re-introduced routes

Some domestic routes are being added as local routes continue to expand. This time Bangkok Airways has announced it’s resuming its Samui-Phuket, Phuket-Hat Yai and Phuket-Pattaya/Rayong (U-Tapao) flights.

The first additions to the schedule will be the Phuket-Samui flights resuming this Sunday, October 25, and the Phuket-Pattaya flights start again next Tuesday, October 27. The Phuket-Samui flights will be operating on Sundays and Wednesdays only on the airlines’ ATR72 turbo prop regional planes, same as before.

A casual search on the Bangkok Airways website, for a return flight from Phuket to Samui on November 1, then back to Phuket on November 8 indicates the cheapest fare (promo) is 2,430 baht. Coming back, the cheapest fare we found, again labelled ‘promo’, was 2,630 baht. Bangkok Airways operate as a “full service” airline and don’t compete with the country’s discount airlines. But they operate these three routes exclusively – like it or leave it.

Bangkok Airways say that the flights will be operated “with the highest preventive measures and standards”. Around the country the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand have eased a few of the onboard restrictions, including the start of catering services which were originally banned under the initial flight rules when domestic routes started flying again at the start of July.

The daily direct services between Phuket and Hat Yai are also being operated on the ATR72 aircraft. The flight to Ha Yai leaves Phuket at 8.40am and arrives at Hat Yai at 9:.45am. The return flights leave Hat Yai back to Phuket at 10.25am each day. The route was very popular for the airline before the ‘disruption’ when airlines had their fleets grounded in April.

The service between Phuket and U-Tapao, linking the party city with the party island, will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, again with the ATR72. Phuket to U-Tapao will leave at 12.10pm and then from U-Tapao to Phuket at 4pm on the three days. U-Tapao is about a 50 minute drive from Pattaya and the airport also serves the greater Rayong area.

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Phuket

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket

Maya Taylor

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4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket. PHOTO: Booking.com

Phuket officials are setting aside around 4 billion baht to transform medical tourism in the southern province of Phuket, by developing a state-of-the-art treatment hub in the north of the island. The Bangkok Post reports that the Treasury department is planning to give the Public Health Ministry permission to use 141 rai of government land in the sub-district of Mai Khao, close to Phuket International Airport. It’s not the first time the proposal has come to light.

The concept is gathering support as Phuket battles to diversify its attraction beyond a tropical holiday island.

The aim is to develop Phuket as a world-class health and wellness destination, with facilities that will attract medical tourists from all over the world, as well as providing a high standard of treatment to the local population. It’s understood the facility will provide a full range of health services, including long-term care, and hospice and rehabilitation services.

The island already has a well-developed medical tourism market, but has been based around local hospitals and clinics linking up with foreign marketing companies in the past. “The International Medical and Public Health Service” has been conceived to create more long term financial security and diversification, and value-added tourism in Phuket, as the island has taken a heavy financial hit over the past 7 months.

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

The plan was first suggested in 2017, by then governor, Noraphat Plodthong and confirmed by the director of Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, Dr. Chalermpong Sukontapol, in July. At that stage, the estimated budget was 3-4 billion baht. The director-general of the Treasury department, Yuthana Yimkarun, says the plot is being offered to the Health Ministry for free. The land is thought be worth around 1 billion baht.

Yuthana says the ministry will manage investment, with approximately 2 billion baht required for the first stage of the project. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed over 2 years.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that unused government land that is currently managed by various government agencies may be moved under the remit of central government, with a view to increasing its worth. According to the Bangkok Post report, just 4% of government land is directly managed by the Treasury. The other 96% is controlled by various government agencies. Yuthana says the plan is to increase the percentage of state-owned land under the Treasury’s management to 10% within 2 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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