Sections: Phuket

Phuket preps for Indians; Swiss steers Serenity Phuket; Bridge bomb

Phuket NEWS Hound

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

Phuket prepares for Pow Wow

Phuket will be hosting an annual meeting of tour guide operators from India from Sept 24-27. A total of 1,500-2,000 representatives from the Association of Indian Tourist Guides will take part.

Phuket governor Wichai Phraisangob said the meeting will give an added boost to tourism in Phuket, and that all relevant authorities are making preparations to provide security and amenities for them.

According to the Bangkok Post this morning, TAT deputy governor Sansern Ngaorangsri said yesterday that the prospect for more Indians visiting Thailand is improving.

He said about 614,562 travelers from the country have visited Thailand so far this year, an increase of about 14.45%

Phuket shows particular promise for tourism from India, Mr Sansern noted.

About 10,000 Indian travelers visited Phuket in the first quarter of the year, double the roughly 5,000 who visited the resort province during the same period last year.

For the Phuket Gazette‘s earlier report on next month’s meeting of Indian tour guides here, see ‘Phuket vies for Indian tourism conference‘.

Serenity GM no stranger to Phuket

Travel Daily News
Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket has announced the appointment of Urs Aebi as General Manager. Born in Switzerland, Mr Aebi graduated from the Hotel Management School Lausanne (EHL) in 1992 and soon after moved to Asia to take up his first assignment with Amari Hotels and Resorts in Bangkok.

Executive positions with Sofitel Centara Hua Hin and Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket followed before he joined The Racha – an all villa resort on Racha Island off Phuket – in the capacity of General Manager.

He opened The Racha in the third quarter of 2004 and quickly established it as one of the premier resorts in South East Asia. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), The Racha was named as one of the “Hottest New Resorts” in 2004 by the Conde Nast Traveller magazine.

When asked about his new appointment at Serenity, he said: “I am tremendously excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the success of this outstanding and unique property. It has raised the bar for luxury resorts in Phuket and offers a truly exceptional guest experience”.

Thailand to produce Prius

The Economic Times
Toyota Motors will start producing the Prius hybrid in Thailand this year, stepping up overseas output of the fuel-sipping vehicles amid swelling global demand, reports said on Saturday.

Toyota, the front-runner in hybrid cars will make the latest model of the Prius in Thailand, the second hybrid car following the hybrid version of the Camry sedan, the Nikkei daily and Jiji Press said without citing sources.

Toyota Motor Thailand Co will oversee the Prius production, with the technology-sensitive hybrid system including batteries and engines to be supplied from Japan, the reports said.

The world’s biggest automaker wants eventually to export the hybrid cars from Thailand to quickly expanding Asian markets.

Sales of hybrids have been brisk in recent years because of high petrol prices and increasing public awareness of global warming.

Bomb at Thai-Myanmar bridge

Earth Times
An explosion killed two people on the Burmese side of the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, Burmese government and other border sources said yesterday.

The blast occurred at about 8:30 pm Friday in the Myawaddy market place, killing two people and injuring up to 20 others, the sources said.

Myawaddy is directly across the Moei River from Mae Sot, a Thai border town that serves as a major crossing point for migrant workers and traders.

The crossing has been closed for more than a month since Burma accused Thailand of building an embankment on the Thai side of the border to alter the path of the river.

The Myawaddy-Mae Sot crossing had also been used for a lucrative extortion racket by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, which detains migrant workers deported from Thailand and charges an entry fee.

The militia is loyal to Myanmar’s junta. Myawaddy is in the Karen State, where a struggle for autonomy has been waged against the government by the Karen National Union since 1949.

Swine Flu returns to Thailand

Asia One News
The H1N1 influenza outbreak that hit last year is spreading in three Northeastern provinces of Thailand, making nearly 40 people ill so far and prompting the closure of a school.

In Ubon Ratchathani province, 20 senior education officials caught the disease, known as human Swine flu, after attending a seminar there, and 10 of them were admitted to hospital on Thursday.

The officials are from neighbouring Amnat Charoen province. They were advised to seek further treatment in their home province after the seminar was called off and they were asked to leave Ubon Ratchathani.

— Gazette Editors

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