Phuket set for Indians; Storms ravage Thailand

Phuket NEWS Hound

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

Phuket set for Indian Travel Congress

Phuket: The Travel Agents’ Association of India (TAAI) is expecting 800 to 1,000 delegates, including spouses, to attend their 59th annual convention – the Indian Travel Congress – in Phuket. The three-day mega event, to be staged at Laguna Phuket, kicks off on September 24.

“Be a Game Changer” will see Phuket hosting, among others, tourism officials and travel industry leaders from both India and Thailand.

According Travel Biz Monitor, the theme has been selected to apprise travel agents in India of the need to change their mindset; their approach to business, employees and products; and the way they market their products to customers.

“We want them to be inspired and to learn lessons from the experiences of other industries,” a TAAI spokesman says.

The rapidly changing demographics of tourists to Phuket, and perhaps to resort destinations worldwide, might also suggest a need for ‘game changing’ – not only by travel agents, but by the resorts and their host countries as well.

Storms, floods ravage Thailand

The Nation
Several central and northeastern provinces were hit badly yesterday by heavy rain and inundation, damaging farmlands and residences.

In Lop Buri, the Tha Luang district was under water as the Pasak River rose by about 15cm in an hour and left riverside farmland and homes under 50-70cm of water.

In Ubon Ratchathani, residents of the Warin Chamrap district were evacuated to tents set up on safer ground near the district land office. The Mul River remained stable at one meter below its banks, but district officials were ordered to stand by and not allowed to take leave until the ongoing flood risk has abated.

In Korat, 2,000 residents in about 400 homes in tambon Nongbua Sala continued to endure floods for a third day.

Some residents in Korat’s Jamjuree and Nong Talumpuk villages were reportedly so fed up that they announced they wanted to sell their homes. As heavy rainfall continued, some areas were already under 70cm-1.2 meters of water.

In Khon Kaen, the Ubonrat Dam was holding 1,539 million cubic meters of water out of its 2,400 million cubic meter capacity. Officials announced a plan yesterday to release 17 million cubic meters a day – up from the current 12 million cubic meters.

In Pathum Thani’s Lam Lukka district, residents of the Rinthong Housing Estate complained that in addition to the structural damage to their homes and roads earlier this year, they were now under 60-80cm of floodwater.

Residents complained that PM’s Office Minister Satit Wongnongtoey had visited them a few months ago and said he would help contact related agencies to assist with repairs, but nothing had been done yet.

In Lampang, days of heavy rain caused a flood from Mae Mok Forest which was wiping out a section of a major road. A temporary bridge was set up for vehicles, but motorists were advised to use other routes.

And in Pathum Thani’s Khlong Luang district, a rainstorm damaged the roof and ceilings of 60 homes in the Preuksa Housing Estate, and five more in nearby Thai Somboon village.

Saudis protest policeman’s promotion
The National

Responding to criticism from Riyadh, Thailand yesterday defended the promotion of a senior police officer facing criminal charges in connection with the disappearance of a Saudi Arabian businessman in Bangkok 10 years ago.

The Saudi Embassy in Bangkok said the decision to promote Lt Gen Somkid Boonthanom, a regional police commissioner, to the post of assistant national police chief could seriously jeopardise efforts to restore normal relations between the two Kingdoms.

Saudi officials have expressed suspicion that the crimes were linked to the theft in 1989 of gems and jewelery worth US$2 million from a prince’s palace in Saudi Arabia by a Thai worker. The thief was arrested and jailed after returning to Thailand.

Only a portion of the gems was ever recovered and returned by Thai police, and some were fake, leading to suspicions that senior police and members of the Thai elite kept the loot and ordered a cover-up.

— Gazette Editors

Phuket News

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