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RoyFest returns to Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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RoyFest returns to Phuket | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: According to public relations website PR Urgent, anyone in the Karon Beach area of Phuket will be able to hear music from a host of Thai and international DJs, as well as various other artists, at RoyFest 2010.

On June 25 and 26, RoyFest is offering “uncompromising” entertainment, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The weekend has been selected to coincide with the full moon, with a big party planned at Karon Beach.

Performers including Japan’s DJ Yoji, Ireland’s Agenlli & Nelson and Singapore’s DJ B will be among those taking to the stage.

The action will start from 6pm on both the Friday and the Saturday night, with music being played into the early hours of the morning.

If reports from last year’s inaugural Phuket RoyFest were accurate, local residents of Karon Beach and surrounding areas, particularly those in the posh condos and five-star hotel rooms along the strand, did indeed find the music “uncompromising” in terms of volume and duration.

But the event drew large crowds. Whether it was desirable for Karon Beach (or anywhere else on environmentally-challenged Phuket), became a topic of some considerable heat in the ‘debates’ in the Gazette online forum, with perceived beauty being very much in the ears of the beholder.

Phuket in a pickle

Taipan Publishing Group
The army and red shirts’ numerous clashes, producing over 60 deaths and 1,600 injuries so far, will have long lasting consequences for Thailand.

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Thailand is looking less and less secure, and business is starting to notice.

Foreign investment is down sharply. The tourism industry has dried up – largely because the Tourism Authority of Thailand has failed to highlight the violence-free parts of the country, such as Phuket.

Foreign investment is fairly flexible and fast-acting however, and investors will be back quickly. But tourists are much slower to trust. Given the size of the tourist industry in Thailand relative to GDP, that will be a serious drag on the Thai economy.

Brits not dissuaded

Travel Daily News
In the midst of the ongoing volcanic ash disruptions, impending airline strikes and continuing turmoil in popular Asian holiday destinations in Thailand (other than Phuket, Khao-lak, Krabi and Samui), independent UK-based travel company Travel Counsellors reports sales booming against all odds.

The company, which operates in seven countries and supports over 1,100 work-from-home travel agents worldwide, ended the explosive month of April on a high, celebrating one of its best sales days in the company’s history, achieving a gross of over £1.5 million on Friday, April 30.

Overall sales for the month were up by 29% on the previous year.

The most popular destinations for bookings for May to August were Dubai, Hong Kong and New York.

Phuket waters for training

Bernama
Malaysia and Thailand today held a joint exercise, code-named “Seaex Thamal”, to step up security patrols in the territorial waters of both countries, against piracy, smuggling and human trafficking.

The exercise, which will end in Phuket, involved the participation of 263 personnel and eight vessels from maritime agencies in Malaysia and Thailand.

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It was launched by Region Three RMN Commander First Admiral Datuk Pahlawan Abdul Rahman Abdul Karim at the RMN base on Tuesday.

He said all the participating vessels would sail into Thai waters today and end in Phuket for the closing ceremony on Saturday.

There will also be social activities in Phuket, like futsal, a friendly golf tournament and dinner.

Tourism industry in dire straits

TTR Weekly
The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) believes the country’s tourist arrivals this year will drop from an estimated 14.1 million to around 13 million, with tourism earnings cut from 520 billion baht to 480 billion.

The warning of a financial disaster in tourism was made just a day before the Thai government ordered a ‘decisive military’ action against the red-shirts. The TCT said it feared many tourism related companies would collapse.

Yesterday, TCT Chairman Kongkrit Hiranyakit told the press that 50 countries had issued travel warnings, with 14 of them telling citizens not to visit to Thailand.

“Previously we thought the crisis would only affect tourism in Bangkok and nearby destinations, but since the situation has escalated it will [have a negative] impact [financially] on the entire country,” said Mr Kongkrit.

He cited figures from the Thai Restaurant Association that claimed 1,500 outlets had closed, and from the Thai Amusement and Leisure Park Association stating that business was down 30 to 50%.

Stock market survives

Marketwatch.com
Political unrest in Thailand over the past several weeks hasn’t put much of a dent in the stock market’s benchmark index – and many analysts don’t expect it to do so.

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True, the SET has fallen nearly 5% in two weeks as violence between the anti-government protesters and Thai soldiers intensified.

But the benchmark index still boasts a climb of more than 40% from a year ago.

“The SET has continued to perform broadly in line with regional markets over the past few days, suggesting an encouraging rationality,” analysts at Macquarie said in a recent note to clients.

In fact, many analysts haven’t downgraded their expectations for Thailand’s economic growth and some expect to see strength in the nation’s stock market.

Army shuts down protest site

The Guardian
The Thai army’s operation to clear the protest site began early yesterday morning in Bangkok, with tanks and firing troops steadily rolling through amidst a rain of Molotov cocktails and bricks.

After 68 days of protest, and more than 68 deaths, the red shirt leaders surrendered themselves to police to be charged with dozens of offenses, including terrorism.

Hundreds of their acolytes spilled onto the streets, however, where shops were looted, buildings set on fire and journalists attacked.

At least 20 buildings burned into the night, including the Channel 3 news station, Central World, and the stock exchange building.

Staff of The Nation and Bangkok Post newspapers were evacuated after threats.

A curfew is now in place in the capital, from 8pm to 6am.

— Gazette Editors

 

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