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Royal Phuket Marina announces 5bn-baht investment plan

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Royal Phuket Marina announces 5bn-baht investment plan | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Royal Phuket Marina has announced a five billion baht investment plan for the next five years under the lifestyle destinations new campaign #DestinationRPM.

“The 5bn baht planned investment over the next five years is part of my vision to make Royal Phuket Marina an iconic waterfront lifestyle destination,” said Gulu Lalvani, Chairman of Royal Phuket Marina.

“Under our #DestinationRPM campaign, Royal Phuket Marina will become a destination in its own right – a thriving residential and business community, and a destination that will support Phuket tourism attracting visitors from around the world.”

The plan includes two hotels, a low-rise condominium development, a first-of-its kind water facility, marina expansion and the addition of a state-of-the-art RPM Children’s Zone, with the aim to position Royal Phuket Marina as a leading destination in Asia.

More than 600 hotel rooms are planned to be added to the marina during the investment period. The first of the hotels will be a 129-key establishment that will be launched in mid-July. The second, and much larger, addition will be a 500-key hotel with a theme pool and beach access, which will be geared toward targeting Phuket’s growing family segment.

Discussions are underway with a number of international hotel management companies and the operator is expected to be announced in the second half of 2015, stated a press release today.

The marina will see 160 units in eight four-storey buildings located near the Town Square as part of the La Reserve low-rise condominium development, designed to target the serviced apartment niche.

“After studying the marketplace, we have identified the need for quality serviced apartments on Phuket. La Reserve condominium will cater to that niche and provide an ideal residence and investment for Thai and international buyers,” Mr Lalvani said.

Le Reserve offers investors a five-year guaranteed rental return.

The marina itself will be transformed as it introduces a world-class dry stack system, the first of its kind in Thailand, whereby boat owners can store their luxury vessels under cover, protected from the elements, as you would with a Rolls-Royce or Ferrari.

“A concierge service will ensure boats are in the water and ready to go anytime, upon request of an owner. The expansion will increase marina capacity to 250 boats,” the press release noted.

As an additional feature to draw families to the marina, the investment will include the RPM Children’s Zone.

“With a design and operating team of over 15 years’ experience in setting up and operating children’s clubs around the world, the club will consist of play areas, climbing frames, jungle gym, slides, ball pits and swings and will be for children up to eight years old,” the release states. “Parents can count on professional child-care services with safe and professional supervisory care while they enjoy all the facilities of the marina.”

The developments at RPM are an adjustment based on changes in demographics, Mr Lalvani said.

“Phuket’s visitor demographics have changed considerably over the last 10 years. More tourists are looking to the east coast and to new destinations. Approximately 1,000 tourists and residents use the marina’s facilities every day. Our marine leisure facilities and central location makes Royal Phuket Marina the gateway to more than 30 islands all within an hour boat ride,” said Mr Lalvani.

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Crime

Phuket police arrest meth dealer, discover drugs valued at 15 million baht

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest meth dealer, discover drugs valued at 15 million baht | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Newshawk Phuket

Drugs valued at 15 million baht have been seized in a drug crackdown in Phuket. On October 22, Phuket police, along with Phuket Governor Pakkapong Tawipat, reported to the media about a drug crackdown that ended up with a total seizure valued around 15 million baht.

Earlier, the police received a report from an undercover agent that a woman named ‘Ying’ or ‘Suthicha Thirawut’ was a local drug dealer trading drugs in Phuket area, so police planned to purchase drugs from the woman. They contacted Ying through another woman named ‘Noina’, Ying’s close friend. Around 10pm on October 20, police bought 1 gram of crystal methamphetamine from Noina before arresting Ying and another man, Thanet Thongtan, at the Naka Condominium.

The two confessed that they receive the drug from a man who they weren’t able to name, in order to sell in Phuket. They were paid 40,000 – 50,000 baht per time and admitted to police that they have done this for the man three times already. This time, the drugs hadn’t been sold to customers as they were arrested before being able to make a sale.

Apart from 2.4 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, valued around 4.8 million baht, the police also discovered 76,800 methamphetamine pills, worth around 11 million baht.

The three are now assisting Phuket police with their enquires related to the case.

SOURCE: Newshawk Phuket

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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

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Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

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