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Phuket’s Pariwat scores a home first

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket’s Pariwat scores a home first | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Golfing prodigy Pariwat Pinsawat returned from Hong Kong recently, victorious at the international junior team tournament, The Lion City Cup, to claim yet another first.

He was subsequently named the inaugural Brand Ambassador for his home course, Phuket Country Club.

The announcement, made on September 10 at a presentation dinner that quickly evolved into an appreciation event, drew attendance by former Phuket senator Phummisak Hongyok, who as one of the Phuket Country Club’s founders and remains the club’s managing director, and former Phuket governor Udomsak Usawarangkura.

In their congratulatory addresses, Phuket Country Club’s General Manager Chanwut Hongyok and the club’s Director of Special Operations, Keat Lau, both expressed their wonder and appreciation for the rapid rise to sporting success that young Pariwat, just 14 years old, has achieved in such a short time.

Mr Lau explained that the move to create the position Brand Ambassador was in line with the philosophy of “giving back to the community” as exemplified by the club’s senior founding member, Mr Phummisak.

Yet, much talk around the tables was that having Pariwat become the club’s brand ambassador allowed the Phuket Country Club to support the youngster’s sporting development in his crucial coming years within the tightly regulated and closely monitored rules of amateur sportsmanship.

Discussions also gravitated to the question of when – not if – Pariwat will join the professional ranks. Most experts on hand predicted Pariwat to make the move in a couple of years, giving him time to mature and develop his skills.

Given his recent performances, much is expected of the youngster.

At the age of eight he carded 158 in his first round. He joined the Phuket Country Club’s junior golf program that same year, and under the tutelage of his grand uncle and coach Prachuab Subcharoen, who is also the Thai Golf Association Representative for Junior Golf in Southern Thailand, scored his first under-par round at the age of 12.

Pariwat joined the Thai national squad last year and recently traveled to Hong Kong where he and junior national squad compatriots Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol, Somprat Rattanasuwan and Aussarassakorn Voramate posted an 869 total to beat Malaysia (873) and Indonesia (888) in the 5th Lion City Cup for junior golfers under 18.

His advice for aspiring young golfers? Practice, practice, practice.

“I practice three to four hours a day, Monday through Friday and all day on Saturdays and Sundays,” Pariwat told the Phuket Gazette.

Also critical is concentration, he said.

His next points of training are to focus on psychology and course management – that is when to attack a course and when to hold back.

To guide him along the course to pro status in these aspects will be grand uncle Prachuab, who is now signed up to be Pariwat’s manager.

While looking forward to improving his game, a modest Pariwat has not forgotten his origins. “I must thank Phummisak Hongsyok, Songwuth, Songpop and my father and mother. These people I cannot forget,” Pariwat said in his thank you speech.

“And I look forward to reaching greater heights,” he added.

Below is a brief list of Pariwat’s golfing achievements to this point in his career.

Amateur Tournaments:

2009 Thailand Youth Games – Silver medal (age 12)

2010 Optimist Junior World Golf Championship (Florida, USA) – 2nd place (age 13)

2010 Asia Pacific Junior World Golf Championship (India) – 3rd place (age 13)

2011 Callaway Junior World Golf Championship (San Diego, USA) – 2nd place (age 14)

Professional Tournaments:

2010 Laguna Phuket Asia Tour 5th place (age 13)

2010 Indonesia Asian Tour – 45th place (age 13)



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Phuket

Phuket in the Top Ten list of Best Places to Visit

The Thaiger

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Phuket in the Top Ten list of Best Places to Visit | The Thaiger

Paris topped the US News list of the World’s Best Places to Visit, Phuket gets into the top 10 destinations this year. The annual rankings list the World’s Best Places to Visit, along with region-specific and niche lists.

Paris, a long favourite with its world-renowned attractions, excellent cuisine and charming atmosphere, scored the top spot in the Best Place to Visit in the World listing. New Zealand’s South Island was in second place, Rome was third, Tahiti fourth and London in fifth place.

Thailand’s most popular island, Phuket, was the highest placed Asian destination and scored the eighth place in the Top Ten destinations, beating out Grand Canyon, New York, Sydney and Maldives.

US News also compiles the Best Places to Visit in the USA, the Best Historical Cities to Visit in the USA, the Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA, the Best Places to Visit in Australia and The Pacific and the Best Places to Visit in Asia. Unique to US News, the rankings combine editor, traveller and expert feedback to determine the most remarkable destinations around the world.

  1. Paris, France
  2. South Island, New Zealand
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. Tahiti, French Polynesia
  5. London, UK
  6. Maui, Hawaii
  7. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  8. Phuket, Thailand
  9. Grand Canyon, US
  10. Yosemite, US
  11. Barcelona, Spain
  12. New York City
, US
  13. Dubai
, UAE
  14. Machu Picchu, Peru
  15. Sydney
, Australia
  16. Maldives
  17. Amsterdam
, The Netherlands
  18. San Francisco
, US
  19. Florence, Italy
  20. Yellowstone
, US

SOURCE: ttrweekly.com

Phuket in the Top Ten list of Best Places to Visit | News by The Thaiger

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Crime

Three arrested with over 12,000 meth pills and crystal meth in Thalang, Phuket

The Thaiger

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Three arrested with over 12,000 meth pills and crystal meth in Thalang, Phuket | The Thaiger

Three drug suspects have been arrested with a total of 12,277 methamphetamine pills and 1.8 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (ice) in Thalang.

Thalang Police raided a house in Thalang where they arrested Yuttapong Kenson. Police seized 1.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 10,746 methamphetamine pills.

Police then raided a warehouse in Srisoonthorn where they have arrested a 17 year old male teenager. Police seized 1.72 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Then Police arrested 21 year old Jarinya Tenprakoan. Police seized 1,531 of methamphetamine pills and 63.93 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

They were taken to police station to face legal action.

Three arrested with over 12,000 meth pills and crystal meth in Thalang, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Three arrested with over 12,000 meth pills and crystal meth in Thalang, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Three arrested with over 12,000 meth pills and crystal meth in Thalang, Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Phuket’s tourist evolution – Diversity is the best option Part 1

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s tourist evolution – Diversity is the best option Part 1 | The Thaiger

by Guest Writer

Today’s guest writer has been managing resorts around Phuket for two decades and has represented his brand at international expos along with promotions for Phuket over the years. His knowledge is first-hand and steeped in local experience. He has asked to remain anonymous.

At the end of the 1990’s into the early 2000’s Phuket saw the drastic increase in number of guests from Scandinavia countries with their tour operators investing many millions of Baht in developing new resorts to cater for their expected dramatic increase in tourism to Thailand. 

Today most of these resorts still stand and have successfully operated since but, some (as ours have) have seen the Scandianavian guests moving out and focusing more on Khao Lak as a preferred destination plus the resort towns of Hua Hin and Rayong who emerged as preferred destinations for the Scandinavian market. They too have seen changes with the development of small communities of private housing to cater for this market in preference to traditional resorts. This is also true for couples and the ‘silver’ market (over 60s). Families however are very much geared towards purpose-built family-friendly resorts, or resorts operated/managed by their tour operator. 

In the early 2000’s we also saw the beginnings of the Russian market starting to check out Phuket as a new destination. I remember when one tour operator, who is very successful now, came to our resort to ask for some rooms and if they could pay on departure for their guests rather than before their arrival. We were one of the first to say ‘yes’ and even today the tour operator always recalls that early business assistance when they chat with me. 

Since then Phuket experienced arrivals from Russians drastically increasing year on year beyond any expectations, until now. For our resorts, we relied on the Russian market to fill nearly 80% of the resort for high season and they just carried on asking for more and more rooms until April this year when this market’s numbers dropped through the floor. As Egypt has re-opened and Vietnam is seen as the ‘new’ place to be seen, Russian guests are now heading to these destinations and Phuket has been left behind.  

Will they come back? Only time will tell, but over the past year the number of families has increased heavily with over 60% of one major tour operator’s guest arrival list being families. So if the Russians do come back (and everyone is positive that they will), it COULD mean that there is a shift in choice of beach or choice of resort offering more kid-friendly opportunities.  

Resort operators therefore need to look at the future and ‘change with the times’. In some cases this might mean having to change their guest room configurations to cater for market swings or as in the case of a friend’s resort, knock down single rooms and build more family-friendly accommodation! Upgrade facilities to cater to the new markets. This also goes for local establishments – restaurants, attractions, tours and retail shops. 

In our resorts, we have increased the number of family rooms by over 100% with 50 rooms currently being converted to cater for this market. 

The Chinese are still getting over the Phuket boat tragedy last July and the recent ‘auction’ of the boat just dragged on this pain and uneccessary loss of friends and families. When we visited Chinese travel partners late last year, their anger and sadness of this tragedy was still front of mind and Chinese social media was still encouraging others to travel to safer countries who look after their visitors. 

Chinese partners had moved their advertising campaign budgets to other destinations, and this was noticeable as Japan took over as the number one choice of Chinese visitors during their ‘golden week’ last year. But Thailand is still a very important market to our travel partners and they will continue to support Thai and Phuket tourism.

The Chinese visitor should be welcomed with open arms here in Phuket and we need to understand the power of their social media in relation to recommendation of eateries, shopping opportunities and where to be seen with their selfies! 

One simple selfie can have over 5 millions LIKES within a few minutes and that is fabulous free PR for the island and the location where they took the selfie. Welcome to the world of social media and millennials! 

The move away from group tours to individual travelers (FITs) continues as we hear of our partners in China reducing tour groups down to 40% (Beijing operator) and 50% (Shanghai) of their total guest mix and the power of the online platforms to ‘book and travel’ on the same apps means that the Chinese have plenty of choices of where to go. Visa-free countries for the Chinese visitor are being added all the time and the Chinese tourist have been happy to explore new destinations.  

Two major Chinese partners mentioned that it is not just Thailand feeling the decline in Chinese tourists this year, but also several countries within Asia this year.  

Tomorrow we’ll look at the new nationalities that are looking to Phuket, some statistics from our hotels over the past year and some of my thoughts about Thailand’s strong currency.

Phuket's tourist evolution - Diversity is the best option Part 1 | News by The Thaiger

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