Phuket tops investor sentiment for Thai property

Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: Various measures are being taken in Thailand to promote tourism as foreigners have not yet returned in the aftermath of the political violence.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organizing a series of events and campaigns to restore tourism, including the Tourism Fair 2010, the Golf and Dive Expo, Amazing Thailand Grand Sale, and Thailand Travel Mart 2010.

In addition, the TAT is joining hands with Thai Airways and the private sector to invite 1,000 foreign writers and travel companies to the Kingdom to observe the tourism situation in the wake of the political unrest.

The Nation reports that the efforts may be starting to take effect. Mike Batchelor, managing director for investment sales in Asia at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, says investor sentiment for medium term trading in Phuket and Bangkok is positive at 39.7 per cent and 22.2 per cent, respectively.

Phuket Punchline comedy returns

The Open Press
Due to be held on June 22, the Phuket Punchline Comedy Club is returning again this month, with another international line-up.

The evening of laughter will start at 8pm and continue to about 11pm, at Phuket’s Mercure Hotel in Patong.

American comedian Arj Baker will be topping the bill. He has, among other things, appeared impressively in the hit comedy series ‘Flight of the Conchords’.

Rob Deering and Caimh McDonnell are the supporting acts.

The event in sponsored by the Phuket Gazette.

Tickets for the show can be purchased in advance from a number of outlets around Phuket, at a cost of 960 baht, and tickets on the day cost 1,200 baht. For advance ticket sales locations, click here.

Cheap deals to Phuket

Bangkok Airways and its tour subsidiary, Bangkok Travel Club, have launched Bin-Khum (Value Flights) holiday packages to Phuket.

The Bin Khum package for Phuket is priced from 7,100 baht, and is available for two people travelling together, inclusive of roundtrip fares in economy class, two nights’ accommodation with daily breakfast, and airport transfers.

The packages are also available for Chiangmai and Koh Samui, starting from 5,900 baht and 8,700 baht, respectively.

More cheapies in the air

In response to an alarming dip in travel demand over the last two months, Etihad Airways has introduced more promotional campaigns to win back customers over the next quarter.

The airline believes it can make headway in the outbound travel market from Thailand as there are now signs the country is gathering steam as a tourist destination.

Etihad has extended its fare promotions to June 15 for sales, and to July 31 for the outbound travel sector.

All-inclusive economy class fares for this promotion are: 27,550 baht to Frankfurt; 27,295 to Munich; 26,900 to Geneva; 26,890 to Milan; 29,385 to Manchester; 28,245 to Paris; 27,335 to Brussels; and 26,850 to Casablanca, among others.

World Cup betting police
Police across Thailand are setting up special 24-hour centres to crack down on betting ahead of the World Cup 2010.

Under the kingdom’s gambling law (which is more than 70 years old), gamblers face fines of 1,000 baht or jail terms of up to one year.

The Economic and Business Forecast Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce estimates that Thai people will spend 37.2 billion baht (approx USD 1.2 billion) gambling on this year’s World Cup.

“At Bangkok Metropolitan Police, we have already started a centre and it will run around the clock until the World Cup ends,” said spokesman Major General Piya Uthayo, adding that each provincial force, including Phuket, would set up its own centre.

Human trafficking ring uncovered

Pattaya Daily News
Thai police from the Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD) have successfully arrested a key individual allegedly involved with the illegal trafficking of Thai women for prostitution in Bahrain.

The suspect, Thai national Sureerat Chaiphrom, 34, was arrested after a joint international investigation revealed her as key in the trafficking of seven Thai women who had recently escaped the network and reported to the Thai Embassy in Bahrain.

The arrest was made on June 1 while Miss Chaiphrom was eating at the Royal Garden Plaza McDonalds in Pattaya.

Miss Chaiphrom has been charged with collaborating with a transnational human trafficking gang, kidnapping, and detention of persons against their will.

The seven Thai women in Bahrain had been deceived into leaving the Kingdom for legal work purposes, the newspaper says.

— Gazette Editors

Phuket News
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