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Phuket tourism: bigger pic needed; Phuket yachts; Surf’s up

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket tourism: bigger pic needed; Phuket yachts; Surf’s up | The Thaiger
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– A daily digest of news about Thailand from around the world, compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community.

Call to relax constraints on tourism

Phuket could benefit substantially if Thailand were to think wider in the regulation of its vital tourism industry.

The Thai tourism industry needs to relax its regulations and give more access to foreign investors and professionals if it wants to attract more visitors, Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij told Bloomberg TV on Monday.

ETN reports that Korn urged the parties involved in the sector to “review, refocus and rebrand” the industry as it has potential to raise its contribution to gross domestic product from the current 6%.

“We should be broader-minded. There’s room to grow in services for aging people. Medical tourism can be developed seriously, like foreign doctors should be allowed to work in Thailand…. We may set up a hotel or a golf club with foreign partners, who can draw their fellows to visit Thailand repeatedly,” Korn said.

“We have a rich culture, traditions and other attractive destinations. A casino or amusement park shouldn’t be our main stream for tourism development.”

The growing purchasing power of Asians and an aging international population are trends that could be tapped for new ideas to develop niche markets, he said.

If successfully implemented, the contribution from the tourism sector would help sustain economic growth as environmental concerns place certain limits on industrial businesses, Korn said.

For background on medical tourism in Phuket, see the latest Phuket Gazette report here.

Phuket drives luxury yachts

Taiwan News
Asia’s leading luxury yacht company, Phuket-based Yacht Solutions, has unveiled a high-end superyacht division – Ruea Yachts – which will design and construct exclusive vessels to satisfy escalating demand from affluent individuals in Asia and elsewhere around the world.

Combining European marine technology and design with the renowned finishing skills of Thai craftsmen, Ruea Yachts will specialise in building Lloyds classification and MCA LY2 code certified custom luxury yachts of up to 85 metres in size.

Construction of the vessels is centered at a shipyard outside Bangkok in Samut Sakorn, with several critical skills sets coming from Phuket, most notably interior finishing, painting, aircon and refrigeration, among others.

The creation of Ruea Yachts is the culmination of a dream of the UK’s Twist brothers, who form the nucleus of the management team, having successfully run Yacht Solutions in Phuket for ten years.

Surf’s up in Phuket

Surfline
Starting on Phuket’s Nai Harn Beach on Saturday, August 21 and ending on September 18 at Surin Beach, Phuket, there will be three individual one-day events.

Each day begins with a morning registration at 7:00 am, followed by a beach clean-up and an ocean awareness program with Phuket water safety specialist Steven A. Martin.

There will be a free surf clinic (with boards supplied by Nautilus Surf Shop) and a free lunch of healthy salads, sandwiches and fruit juice catered by DaVinci restaurant.

The surf contest will offer surf heats and finals for the boys and girls of varying divisions, resulting in a variety of awards, prizes, and a sunset beach BBQ party.

For more information on these events, see www.asia.ripcurl.com/?events

SALA Phuket joins wine elite

E Global Travel News
SALA Phuket Restaurant has joined the prestigious list of restaurants who can boast recognition from Wine Spectator 2010.

The already renowned Phuket restaurant achieved this accolade by having an impressive wine offering which has been recognized as one of the most outstanding lists on the island.

Each wine list must pass rigorous evaluations, says Wine Spectator magazine, and restaurants must demonstrate that the wine selection, service, cuisine and ambience are worthy of the magazine’s recognition.

The Award of Excellence recognizes SALA Phuket for its commitment to a fine wine list and a wide selection of quality producers, along with its exceptional accompaniment to the menu, both on value and style.

Muay Thai event in Bangkok

TTR Weekly
An international standard Muay Thaiboxing competition is on offer August 29 through October 23 at Bangkok’s Hua Mak indoor stadium, followed by the final round on December 6 at Chalermphrakiat Stadium in Nakhon Ratchasima.

This international event is sponsored by PTT Plc, Thai Airways International, Isuzu, Yamaha, Chang Beer, the Sports Authority of Thailand and Channel 3.

PTT is the anchor sponsor, while the TV channel will broadcast the bouts live at all venues.

Sport Art Company will spend around 100 million baht to organise the event, according to company owner and executive director Nopporn Watin, who is heading the event’s organisational team.

An expert on Muay Thai and host of a famous boxing programme, “Suk Chao Muay Thai,” Nopporn has high aspirations, believing the event could help to increase awareness and rid the sport of a negative gambling image.

— Gazette Editors

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Politics

Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI | The Thaiger

Back in the news again. Phuket’s Sri Panwa Resort’s land title deed is now to be investigated by the Department of Special Investigation after a petition was filed to determine whether the deed was procured legally. Veera Somkwamkid, the secretary-general of the People’s Network Against Corruption, filed the petition along with 167 pages of documents pertaining to his accusations that Thawatchai Anukun, a land fraud suspect, had unlawfully issued land title deeds to plots of land in Phuket before he mysteriously died in a detention room while in DSI custody in 2016.

He was allegedly being investigated for falsifying land deeds between the years of 1998 and 2001. Veera claims before the title deed was issued on the plot, the land was part of a forest known by locals as Pa Kae.

“Back then, 10 families that had occupied the plots for about 40 years had title deed requests rejected. The reason given was the land was part of a forest reserve used by the navy.”

However, Watchara Buathong, Phuket’s current land official, says the Sri Panwa resort had legally acquired its 56-rai, none of which was ever state land. Local resident Khwanjai Khumban, backed this claim, saying her father and cousins had sold most of the land to the resort, and she could produce documents to account for at least 12 rai of the disputed area.

Phuket's Sri Panwa Resort's land title deed to be investigated for legality by DSI | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, the Social Security Office, is also under fireas it is being asked to explain why it invested in the hotel’s trust fund. The department, which is under Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, in which its minister says he doesn’t know if the property has been legally built and points to the responsibility to the DSI to investigate. This was echoed by at least one opposition MP and anti-corruption activists.

The hotel, situated on Cape Panwa, in Phuket’s Muang district, has been under recent scrutiny due to its owner, Vorasit Issara, accusing Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a co-leader of the anti-government United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, of offending the monarchy at last weekend’s protest at Sanam Luang.

Vorasit posted on Instagram that Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul should be jailed, further falsely claiming that she is not Thai when, in fact, Panusaya was found to have been born in Nonthaburi and is a Thai citizen.

“This bullshit has got to stop. She is not Thai. Who is she working for? This one needs to be in prison”.

Such a statement has received wide backlash from netizens with some taking to Trip Advisor and other websites to post bad reviews of the resort, prompting it to suspend advertising on such sites.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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Phuket

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital

The Thaiger

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Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | The Thaiger

A female prisoner is on the run after escaping from Vachira Hospital in Phuket during a doctor’s appointment. 58 year old Siri Phodam allegedly escaped after asking her prison escort officer to use the toilet. But she took a long time to come back, and was found to have escaped. CCTV cameras caught her dressed in a blue hospital patient shirt and a sarong leaving the hospital quickly. A Phuket prison officer says the woman is 158 centimetres tall and has dark skin.

“Some of our own officers are searching for her, and we have also sent the prisoner’s description to all Phuket police stations. However, at this stage we have not found any clues.

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | News by The Thaiger

“If anyone finds a person matching the prisoner’s appearance, please inform us by calling 076 212 104.”

Siri was imprisoned after being charged with posessing illegal drugs and lived in Moo 2, Rawai.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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