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Phuket tourism update: TAT to strengthen Aussie, Kiwi markets

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket tourism update: TAT to strengthen Aussie, Kiwi markets | The Thaiger

PHUKET: In a bid to encourage more visitors to Thailand after the recent political turmoil, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has introduced new products and packages to 30 key travel operators in Australia and New Zealand.

The overall package was announced yesterday by TAT governor Suraphon Svetasreni.

Australia and New Zealand were chosen as the first overseas mission for the agency in the new fiscal year to bring back tourists by enhancing cooperation between the TAT and business partners in those countries.

Even though Thailand has faced challenging times recently, Australia and New Zealand have remained supportive of the Thai tourism sector, as evidenced by the increase in the number of visitors over the past year.

In Australia, the TAT will promote eco-adventures and Thai culture holidays through joint marketing with tour companies. These initiatives will offer real-life experiences focusing on soft adventure, culture, Thai cuisine and local lifestyles, he said.

The agency will also encourage Australians and New Zealanders to break up their long-haul trips to Europe by stopping over in Bangkok for a few days.

“We have such programs as ’72 Hours in Bangkok’, which offers a short-time package in the capital and nearby areas. Visitors can get into the city quickly and easily for some sightseeing or shopping,” Mr Suraphon said.

Meanwhile, the TAT is urging Thais living in Australia to help reinforce the Thailand brand by working with Thai communities to organize festivals such as Loi Krathong and Songkran.

From January to August, Thailand received 440,000 Australian visitors, up 11% over the same period last year.

Of these, about 63% were repeat visitors. They stayed an average of 12 days and spent an average of 4,725 baht per person per day, according to TAT statistics. This contributed about A$1.32 billion in tourism revenue to the economy.

Australians tend to be all-year-round visitors, which benefits the industry in the low season.

In the same nine-month period, Thailand welcomed 57,000 New Zealand visitors, up by 2% year-on-year. About 63% were repeat visitors, and they stayed an average of 12 days and spent an average of 3,945 baht per person per day.

New Zealand visitors are increasingly interested in Thai tourism products, including spas and wellness, golf, diving, eco-tourism, “soft adventure”, trekking, mountain climbing, Thai cooking classes, weddings and honeymoons.

“In 2011, we will continue the national Amazing Thailand campaign, with an ‘Always Amazes You’ tagline to reinforce the positive emotions visitors have in relation to the Thainess that differentiates the country from other holiday destinations. New Zealand is one of the key markets for these products,” Mr Suraphon said.

There are currently 71 direct weekly flights between Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket) and the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

“The TAT will take Phuket’s popularity in Australia and New Zealand to the next level. We are positioning Phuket as the gateway into other parts of Thailand and the neighboring countries of Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam, as well as southern China,” Mr Suraphon said.

According to official data, international arrivals in Thailand from January to August were more than 10 million, which is 13% higher than the same period last year.

The TAT hopes to see 14 million arrivals for the full year.

— The Nation

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Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong

The Thaiger



Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Patong Police

Patong Police are investigating alleged foreign motorbike racing gangs in Patong after a viral video clip in local social media.

The Patong Police report that the clip of tourists who have been driving their motorbikes at high speed around the streets of Patong has been very popular and provided them with a lot of information about the locations, the bikes and the riders.

Police are now investigating the incident to find the people on the bikes so they can charge them and take legal action.

Every month they say there are about 2,000 cases as Patong Police enforce the road rules around the tourist town. Patong Traffic Police say they are strictly enforcing traffic rules to prevent road accidents and protect tourists.

Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger Police investigate motorbike hoons in Patong | News by The Thaiger

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“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling?

The Thaiger



“Self-myofascial release” – what is foam rolling? | The Thaiger

by Krix Luther

The word is out about self-myofascial release – foam rolling – and, no, Thailand people, this doesn’t have to do with a ‘soapy’ or ‘happy-endings’.

So what is foam rolling you ask? Well, it was once a secretive technique used by professional coaches and therapists but has become a regular practice for people across the spectrum of all fitness levels.

Self-myofascial release is just a fancy term for a technique of self-massage that helps deal with muscle tightness and trigger points.

With a massage parlour never being farther than a kilometre away, and decent one-hour massage costing you less than 500 baht, it might be difficult to see the point of learning the technique – which would explain why I always see a bunch of rarely used foam rollers in the corner of Nai Harn Gym in Phuket (one of the places I work).

Nonetheless, the understanding of your body and muscle structures that comes with practising the technique can offer many benefits.

  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Prevents chances of DOMS
  • Reduces post-workout stress
  • Helps with post-workout cooldown
  • Reduces recovery time
  • Prevents training-related injuries
  • Reduces chances of overtraining

The practice can be done with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane or your own hands by simply applying pressure to specific points on your body, aiding in the recovery of muscles and assisting in returning them to normal function. We can think of ‘normal function’ as when your muscles are elastic, healthy and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

Foam rolling after a workout will provide deep compression that will help relax tight muscles and adhesions (fibrous bands) between muscle layers and their surroundings. The benefits of foam rolling are outstanding, in addition to increasing blood flow, which will speed up muscle recovery. Foam rolling can be used for a variety of corrective bodywork.

It can loosen muscles to re-balance posture, re-establish proper movement patterns, enhance performance and help create pain-free movement.

Stretching alone is not always enough when it comes to releasing the tightness, which makes the technique very helpful. Additionally, you are able to feel exactly what is happening and adjust the pressure so that it is uncomfortable, but not unbearable – not always the case when it comes to the toes of your Thai masseuse digging into your back.

Krix Luther has been a Personal Trainer in Phuket for more than 10 years, he specialises in weight loss, strength & conditioning, TRX and CrossFit. For more information about Krix and his services, visit

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Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash

The Thaiger



Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | The Thaiger

A 74 year old motorbike driver has died after colliding with a high speed taxi in Thalang this morning.

The Thalang Police headed to the accident near an intersection of Thepkrasattri – Nai Yang Road in Thalang at 7.40am.

When they arrived they found a damaged taxi. Nearby they located the damaged motorbike.

74 year old Somchai Uttasaha, the motorbike driver, was taken to the Thalang Hospital but was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.

Police report that the taxi was traveling at high speed. The driver was 48 year old Prasert Malitong.

When the taxi arrived at the location of the incident, the motorbike was allegedly traveling outside his proper traffic lane.  The taxi collided with the motorbike at speed.

The taxi driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death.

Elderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The ThaigerElderly motorbike driver dies in Thalang crash | News by The Thaiger

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