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

Phuket NEWS Hound

– 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%.

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“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

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

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 Thai boxing 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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