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Phuket a super-star for hotel performance

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

PHUKET: According to data compiled by STR Global Hotels and reported by Hotel News Now, the Asia/Pacific region, and most notably Phuket, experienced increases in all three key performance metrics for March 2010.

“The Asia/Pacific region is still leading the way in the global recovery”, said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “It has posted five consecutive months of occupancy, ADR [average daily rate], and RevPAR [revenue per available room] increases, fueling a 23-percent RevPAR jump in the first quarter of 2010.”

Highlights from key market performers for March 2010 include the fact Phuket was second only to Beijing in experiencing the region’s largest occupancy increases, with Phuket up 32.4% to 77.3%, versus Beijing’s 33.8% to 67.1%.

And four markets reported RevPAR increases of over 40%, with Phuket leading the way at 55.7% to US$103.36, followed by Brisbane, Sydney and Hong Kong.

Phuket property web in limelight

PR Urgent
Phuket.Net Real Estate received a prestigious award at this year’s Asia Pacific Property Awards, presented in association with Bloomberg Television in Hong Kong earlier this month.

The real estate agency was awarded a “Highly Commended” prize, in the Best Agent Website category, for its Phuket property site.

The awards, which are part of the International Property Awards, are now in their 16th year and widely considered the blue-chip competition for real estate professionals around the world. Underlining its eminent status was the fact that this year’s event included representatives from 19 countries across the region.

“We are extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award bestowed by our industry peers,” said Kit Fordham, general manager and co-founder of Phuket.Net Real Estate.

Phuket resort hot-listed

E global travel news
Andara Resort & Villas Phuket has hit the coveted Conde Nast Traveler (USA) Hot List for 2010. Conde Nast’s Hot List one of the International travel industry’s most prestigious selections of best new hotels. 

The magazine’s review of high-end hotels opened over the past 12 months highlighted Andara’s generous in-room gadgetry and exceptional kitchen facilities. Further praise was given with the words “arguably Phuket’s plushest”.

The resort’s stunning views over the Andaman Sea were also noted.

“We are honoured to receive this level of recognition from Conde Nast Traveler (USA)”, said Andrew Whitaker, General Manager.

Oldies boost Phuket

Travel Daily News
Asian economies are expected to fully recover from the effects of the global recession, with the medical tourism and retirement sectors, both of which are prominent in Phuket, touted as sunrise industries that will propel the economic growth of the whole region.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) earlier said that developing Asia’s GDP would grow by 7.5% this year, a big leap from 5.2% in 2009. The projected growth rate is higher than those of other parts of the world.

Asian countries, including Thailand, and particularly Phuket, are gaining popularity as retirement havens, with growing numbers of senior citizens from Western countries leaving their homeland for tropical destinations.

Meeting the needs of this “silver market” is seen to be a major economic driver not just for the healthcare industry in the region, but also for the property sector.

Medical tourism healthy

Business Week
Even as Bangkok suffers the protests and fallout from political unrest, Thailand’s medical-tourism industry has been surprisingly resilient.

Since the demonstrations started last month, the stock price of Bumrungrad Hospital, probably the premier destination in Thailand for international patients, is only down about 8 percent.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Chain Hospital is down just 1 percent and Bangkok Dusit Medical is actually up by 0.8 percent.

The benchmark Thai index is down 1.7 percent.

The timing of the Red Shirt revolt explains much of the downtrend, according to analyst Raweenuch Piyakriengkai of KGI Securities. He suggests that the second quarter of the year is low season for the health-care sector, regardless of what’s happening in the streets.

“It is [primarily] the off-peak tourism season, which means less international patient traffic,” he says.

Protests: Compromise in sight?

BBC
Red-shirt protesters and the Thai army have made tentative peace overtures on the condition that parliament is dissolved in one month – a change from the previous call for immediate dissolution and elections.

The conditional offer of talks was made by red-shirt leader Veera Musikapong.

“After the House dissolution, the government will have another 60 days to prepare for elections. In total it will be 90 days… but the government has to stop threatening people and show responsibility for what has happened.”

Meanwhile, army commander-in-chief Anupong Paojinda declared that the use of force would “not end the current problems and would have many repercussions.”

“The army’s job now is to take care of the people, and not allow Thais to attack each other,” he said.

— Gazette Editors

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Phuket

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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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