Phuket hotels urged to discount

Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: The Thai Hotels Association (THA) will launch a Buy-One, Get-One-Free promotion this month to match the time frame of the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2010, TTR Weekly reports.

Phuket hotels are being encouraged to participate in the promotion.

The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale this year runs until August 15 and includes discounts at more than 2,500 shops, department stores and retail outlets nationwide, including the Central department store and Jungceylon in Phuket.

According to the THA, the association has written to all member hotels and resorts urging them to participate in the room discount promotion. Although Phuket has generally enjoyed better room rates and occupancies than most, if not all, tourist destinations in Thailand to date this year, Bangkok has been severely damaged by the red shirt protests.

“This month, the Bangkok hotels will average a 40 percent occupancy, but July usually delivers 65 to 70 percent. We need to be proactive on rates and take into consideration that the city is still under an emergency decree,” notes THA president Prakit Chinamourpong.

In addition to Phuket, the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale is featured in seven other tourist destinations: Bangkok Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hat Yai, Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Udon Thani.

Rough seas for Phuket

Strong north westerly winds of 40 to 50kmph and rough seas with waves as high as 3.5 metres are expected to occur over waters off northwestern Malaysia and Phuket from today until Thursday.

The condition is dangerous for swimmers and to small boats, yachting and other recreational activities in the sea, the Malaysian Meteorological Department said late yesterday.

The department also issued a warning on thunderstorm activities over the waters off Perlis, Penang, Kedah, Selangor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

New resort brand for Phuket

Asia Travel Tips
InVision Hospitality has signed a management agreement for The Residence Phuket. The integrated residential and resort property will also be rebranded as ‘The Residence Phuket – A Lantern Residence & Resort’.

The Residence Phuket is the first project being launched under the Lantern Hotels, Resorts and Residences banner.

The property’s villas feature full size swimming pools, multiple outdoor relaxation and dining areas, and landscaped private gardens, while the interiors include multiple televisions with DVD and CD players.

Each villa also has a fully-equipped “gourmet kitchen” with full size refrigerator, washer and dryer.

Guests can also enjoy a spa treatment at the Hattakarn Spa, or take a trip out into the Andaman Sea on board the resort’s Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 40′ catamaran.

Thailand losing in drug war

Asia Times
Thailand is losing its latest war on drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, opium, ketamine, cocaine and ecstasy continue to flood across its porous borders.

A rise in production and trafficking related to tensions between Myanmar’s military government and narco-trafficking ethnic insurgent groups based near the Thai border have undermined Bangkok’s efforts, according to the annual world report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Large narcotics seizures have increased in Thailand over the past year. The Bangkok Post reported the seizure of over 300,000 methamphetamine pills in Bangkok on May 29.

On June 22, police in the northern province of Chiang Mai intercepted a six-wheel truck en route to Bangkok with 1.2 million methamphetamine tablets on board.

Phuket has also witnessed what appears to be a significant surge in drug trafficking and consumption over the past year, with many arrests documented in the daily news of the Phuket Gazette online.

In April 2009, Thailand embarked on its so-called “Five Fences” counter-narcotics campaign, aimed at curbing trafficking and abuse at the national, district and village levels.

A so-called “Border Fence” aims to monitor and interdict cross-border narcotics trafficking, mainly from Myanmar and Laos. Through a “Community Fence”, people and civil society are encouraged to participate in anti-drugs activities.

A “Society Fence” aims to combine social order with efforts to control entertainment venues, dormitories and other places where drugs are purchased and used.

A “School Fence” aims to integrate an anti-drugs message into the Ministry of Education’s outreach program.

And a “Family Fence” recognizes the importance of family participation to prevent drug use.

Glimmer of hope in the South?

Asian News Network
Malay-Muslim separatist organisations confirmed over the weekend that they have unilaterally suspended organised attacks against Thai government security forces for the past month in three districts of Narathiwat province in Southern Thailand.

The unilateral cease-fire, billed as a confidence-building measure, was in place in the Rangae, Yingor and Choh I-Rong districts from June 10 until yesterday.

“The aim of this limited cease-fire was two-fold: to indicate the movement’s sincerity in wanting to hold a dialogue on the political future of the southern provinces, and at the same time to demonstrate the movement’s command and control in the area,” according to a statement sent to Phuket Gazette partner newspaper The Nation by the Patani Malay Liberation Movement.

Thai police investigating jailed Dutchman

Associated Content
Law enforcement officials in Thailand have been investigating 22-year-old Dutch national Joran Van Der Sloot’s connection with sex trafficking and the possible disappearance of several young Thai women in 2008.

According to Thai police sources, several young women went missing while Van Der Sloot resided in Bangkok in 2008. The police are investigating to see if he may have been involved.
There is no indication as yet whether any of the trafficked women were from Phuket.

Van Der Sloot is currently in a Peruvian prison after being arrested last month on suspicion of murdering 21-year-old Stepahnie Flores Ramirez in May.

He had set up shop in Bangkok after Aruban authorities failed to charge him in the disappearance of 18-year-old Alabama high school student Natalee Holloway.

Although arrested twice, Van Der Sloot was released both times due to lack of evidence.

— Gazette Editors

Phuket News

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