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Phuket hoteliers claim Paris Hilton party sparks B8mn in room cancellations

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket hoteliers claim Paris Hilton party sparks B8mn in room cancellations | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The hoteliers of eight resorts who have appealed to the Phuket Governor to not approve the huge Sydictive new year party at Surin Beach have claimed that just the announcement of the event by global celebrity Paris Hilton has already cost the resorts 8 million baht in room cancellations.

Among the hoteliers chief concerns are the level of noise the two-day dance party will create and the impact of the expected 50,000 revellers in the small beachside resort area.

Twinpalms Phuket Resort Executive Manager Somjai Tungkoo told Governor Maitri Inthusut at a meeting on Tuesday that the “peaceful” surroundings of Surin Beach were a critical marketing point for the resorts in the area, and that hosting the party was already jeopardizing high-season bookings.

“Tourists have cancelled their room bookings after they realized that this event will be held at Surin Beach,” she said.

“Each hotel [of the eight protesting the party] has suffered room cancellations valued at about one million baht,” Ms Somjai added.

“This event will affect us not only for this year, but also for the years to come. We think that it is not necessary to hold such big events here,” she added.

A representative of The Chava Resort agreed. “Many guests have asked about this issue. Some have cancelled their rooms already,” he added.

The representative suggested that the organizers hold the event during the tourism low season, as it might help boost tourism during that time of year.

Ms Somjai also pointed out that no hotels in the area were notified that such a big event was being organized.

“There are small new year parties on the beach every year, but the hotels are notified of them in advance. We still have not been formally notified of this event,” she said.

However, Supacheep Wanchai, director Sydictive Element, said they will keep the noise down and employ thousands of security staff to make sure the revellers do not disturb the neighbors.

“This event will start at 3pm on December 30 and continue through to 6am on January 1… We expect more than 50,000 people will join this event, including the international celebrity Paris Hilton and 14 world-famous DJs. We will also hire 4,000 staff,” Mr Supacheep said.

The event will feature a floating stage 70 meters long and 20m wide, with a firework show each night, he added.

Mr Supacheep said that the noise will be kept below 100 decibels.

“We will use local vendors for sourcing all the food for welcoming guests to the party and we will coordinate with local bus, van and taxi operators.

“There will be about 2,000 security personnel to make sure there is no trouble and we will conduct searches to make sure that no drugs or weapons are anywhere near the party,” he said.

“Surin Beach is a suitable location for this,” he added.

Gov Maitri ordered the event organizer and the hotel representatives to meet again to try to resolve the issue.

“I believe that every problem has a solution, and in organizing any public event we should be wary of how it will affect local people,” Gov Maitri said.

“As this event seems to have not been discussed with the relevant local authorities, different opinions have not been taken into consideration before moving ahead with arrangements. There should be further discussion and an attempt to brainstorm solutions to the potential problems before we move ahead,” he added.

In the meantime, Phuket Marine Office chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut must approve the event before it can be held.

“For now, the Phuket Marine Office has no intention of approving construction of the event’s floating stage or any other structures on the beach until all parties are in agreement and the Thalang District Office has approved the use of the public area,” he said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Weather

Strong wind and waves this morning closes Phuket’s beaches, one swimmer rescued

The Thaiger

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Strong wind and waves this morning closes Phuket’s beaches, one swimmer rescued | The Thaiger

Phuket’s Rawai Mayor, Aroon Solos, ordered all beaches in the area to close after a foreigner was rescued this morning after being unable to make it back to shore. The foreigner was swimming off Ao Sane beach, just north of the popular Nai Harn Beach, when lifeguards were sent out to help bring him back to shore. The recent weather has been partly attributed to Tropical Storm Noul as other beaches areas around Patong have been closed since Friday.

Mayor Aroon ordered both the Nai Harn and Ya Nui beaches closed until further notice.

Noul crossed over the Vietnamese coastline in the early hours of Friday morning and tracked westwards into Laos, then Thailand’s north east, dragging in moisture from the Indian Ocean and intensifying the south-west monsoon.

The Chief of the Cherngtalay Tambon says that, once weather is more stable, the island’s beaches will reopen.

“All beaches in our area, Surin Beach, Bang Tao beach and other beaches, are closed today. We will reopen them when the weather improves.” Strong winds have contributed to falling trees and power outages across the island with one tree falling on the island’s main traffic artery, Thepkasattri Road, blocking traffic.

Officials are also warning road travellers to drive carefully after a car reportedly flipped over yesterday during wet conditions. The Thai Meteorological Department has also re-issued a weather warning today, saying that Noul has been now downgraded from a Category 3 tropical storm to a tropical depression.

The remnants of Noul currently sit over the Kancanaburi province after surging through Thailand’s north eastern and central provinces earlier today.

“Strong wind waves are likely in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. In the upper portion of both seas, the waves will be likely 2-4 meters high and more than 4 meters high in thundershowers. In the lower portion, the waves will be likely about 2 meters and in thundershower areas more than 3 meters high. All ships keep ashore through 20 September.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket residents going hungry after local government assistance runs out

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket residents going hungry after local government assistance runs out | The Thaiger

Residents in Phuket, particularly those living in and around the west coast townships, are reportedly going hungry as the government’s municipal budget to provide food has been depleted. Despite efforts to revive tourism in the area, thousands of people are still in need of donated food to survive and continue to queue up for donated food every day. A public relations staff member at the Patong municipality says, sadly, there is no budget to do any more food handouts in the near future and that there is no word on when or if there will be any more handouts.

The Phuket Town Deputy Mayor told The Phuket News that there has only been 2 handouts since the pandemic struck the tourist-reliant area. One handout was in March while the last handout was in June with the mayor saying 28 million baht was spent in those 2 handouts. Meanwhile a number of foreign residents in the town have been providing supplies for food queues for many months to help the impoverished residents.

One Phuket expat says the majority of those affected in the Patong area are Burmese migrant workers, with long queues for private donations still being seen on the streets of Patong. Such private donations are a result of charity events that are being held across the island with the assistance of dedicated volunteers.

Like Thailand’s Mental Health Department, many are concerned about the impact that food insecurity is having on those struggling. According to the department, 2,551 people had killed themselves across Thailand in the first half of 2020, a 22 % increase, year on year. In response, the National Reform Committee on Labour was ordered on September 11 to issue an amnesty on all outstanding debts, while providing financial support anyone who remains unemployed on the island.

At a recent meeting, other requests were made that include the government giving incentives for more Thais to visit the island and to use social security funds and soft loans as support for local business owners. For now, the situation is grim as Phuket residents are resorting to relying on private charities for food donations.

Phuket’s vice governor Phichet saysd that Phuket has been badly affected by the Covid crises, and delivered 3 requests to the Senate Standing Committee on Tourism… to extend the financial support by the Social Security Office for a further 3 months, allow workers from other provinces to transfer their house registration to Phuket so the Phuket government can receive more funds to provide better care for them, and ask the Ministry of Labour to provide assistance to at least 1,000 unemployed in Phuket.

Whilst the government unveiled plans for a “Phuket Model” to revive tourism on the island, it came to nothing, despite a high power delegation of Ministers and Bangkok officials who visited Phuket 2 weekends ago.

One such charity is set to record a song by leading Phuket musicians with the hopes of continuing to help feed those in need on the island.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Weather

Heavy rain across the country this weekend – local forecasts

The Thaiger

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Heavy rain across the country this weekend – local forecasts | The Thaiger

Heavy rain is expected across much of Thailand over the next few days, mostly as a result of the intensity of a tropical storm crossing into Vietnam today, ‘Noul’, from the South China Sea. The low pressure cell will help intensify the effects of the south west monsoon too. But the remnants of the storm won’t “slam” into Northern Thailand as one news site claimed – rather it will be a lot of rain and increased winds. The storm is expected to cross into Thailand around the Mukdahan province some time early tomorrow,

Around the country, Saturday will be the worst with rains easing during Sunday. Thailand north east ‘Isaan’ provinces will be the worst affected as they are in the direct track of the storm as it crosses Vietnam, into Laos, and then crossing Thailand’s borders in the upper north east in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Whilst tropical storm ‘Noul’ has been packing winds from 80 – 120 kilometres per hour as it reaches the central Vietnam coast areas, including popular tourist locations like Da Nang and Hoi An, the storm will continue to dissipate as it moves inland. The storm has been tracking across the South China Sea this week, gathering strength, in a west northwesterly direction.

Residents in the coastal town of Hoi An report that it rained continuously last night, with strong winds, and that they expect widespread flooding to be reported during the day.

The forecast for heavy rain in Bangkok will probably dampen some of the enthusiasm for tomorrow’s anti-government rally to be held in and around the Thammasat University Tha Prachan campus.

Here are the forecasts for Saturday and Sunday around the country…

Bangkok

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Phuket

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Chiang Mai

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Pattaya

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Khon Kaen

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Koh Samui

Heavy rain across the country this weekend - local forecasts | News by The Thaiger

Read more about Thailand’s annual monsoons HERE.

SOURCE: weather.com

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