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Phuket threatened as airfares soar

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket threatened as airfares soar | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.

PHUKET: In what might look like an April Fools’ Day joke but isn’t, Thai Airways is increasing its domestic fares tomorrow in hopes that its passengers will be willing to underwrite the carrier’s ‘higher fuel costs’.

The Bangkok Post reports that the increases, set by the Civil Aviation Board, fall within a range of up to 13 baht per kilometer. The highest increment, 2,920 baht, is imposed against customers on the Chiangmai-Phuket route.

“We decided to raise fares because operations on most domestic routes remain loss-ridden,” said airline President Piyasvasti Amranand. Specifically, an ‘economy’ class ticket on the 696km Bangkok-Phuket route will rise a whopping 46%, from 2,575 to 3,770 baht.

But not to be outdone, the 1,263km Chiangmai-Phuket run is boasting a 64% hike, from 4,535 to 7,455 baht.

The airline says its international fares, governed by stiff competition from major world carriers, remain unchanged.

Beach threat for Phuket

The Malay Mail
When planning a holiday in
Thailand, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is places like Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui. However, there are many other choices that holidaymakers often fail to see.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently organized a media and travel agent familiarization trip to the ‘Ample Moon Festival’ in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, which is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, situated in Khanom District. The beaches here are proof that there is more to Thailand than just Koh Samui and Phuket. Many of them remain unspoiled and provide complete privacy.

Among the attractions offered by these beaches are ‘pancake rocks’, pink dolphins and Ample Moon parties.

Phuket’s beaches in recent years have been threatened by pollution, the noise and dangers of jet-skis, and, most recently, the complete absence of lifeguards.

US Healthcare may affect Phuket

Asia Times Online
The long-awaited United States healthcare reform package became law last week, and may affect Thailand’s medical tourism industry, much of which is based in Phuket.

Thai hospitals treating American medical travellers will have to wait longer to see whether the bill will have a significant impact on their businesses, but US insurers will feel the reforms’ impact more quickly, and that could lead them to look more closely at international options.

“Greater coverage for more Americans presumably would mean fewer Americans would need to travel abroad for care,” Bangkok Hospital’s international marketing manager Judy Mitchell said. Uninsured and under-insured Americans are at present the primary market for medical travel in Thailand, which now has to focus on cosmetic surgery and attracting US insurance companies to outsource their surgeries.

Medical tourism in Phuket to date has been focused primarily on Lasik eye procedures, cosmetic and ‘gender reassignment’ surgery, and dental care.

Who’s behind the bomb attacks?

The Nation
The numerous bomb attacks in Bangkok have raised suspicions as to who is responsible. The attacks have been aimed at places that were symbolic enemies of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, now patriarch of the red-shirted protesters. However, if the red shirts were responsible, it seems almost too obvious a list of targets.

Furthermore, certain incidents, such as the grenade fired into the 11th Infantry Regiment Headquarters on Saturday night, gave the government justification to threaten to impose martial law inside the compound ahead of a planned red-shirt demonstration there.

It could also be ‘the other side’ wanting to frame the red shirts, or the red shirts wanting to look like they are being framed. Or it could be a third party wanting to undermine the government; or it could be a third party wanting to undermine the red shirts.

Last but not least, it could be all of the above.

Thaksin assets will be seized

National News Bureau of Thailand
Comptroller General Department Director General Pongpanu Svetarunda is prepared to seize 46.3 billion baht in assets of Thailand’s run-away former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra after receiving a document from related authorities enabling the department to do so.

Mr Pongpanu says his department is prepared to audit assets and all bank accounts of Thaksin, which would be seized by the Ministry of Finance following a rumor of cash withdrawal by members of the Shinawatra family.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij earlier disclosed a report that Thaksin family members had gradually withdrawn about 0.8 to 1.0 billion baht in cash from their deposits in commercial banks. However, there is no report of large overseas money transfers.

On January 26, 2010, Thailand’s Supreme Court ruled to confiscate 46.3 billion baht out of 76 billion in Thaksin family assets as recompense for Thaksin’s abuse of power to facilitate his own business interests.

— Gazette Editors

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive (cheaper for Phuket officials anyway).

The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… “We want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,”

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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