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Surprise opinions at Patong plan public hearing

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Surprise opinions at Patong plan public hearing | The Thaiger

PATONG: A public hearing to discuss a town plan for Patong took place at Patong City Hall yesterday.

The meeting drew about 80 people, an assortment of government officers, academics, local businessmen and residents.

Listening to the feedback were researchers from Consultants of Technology (COT) Co, a Bangkok-based consulting firm, and representatives of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning.

Dr Supornchai Siriwoharn, a member of the COT research team, told the meeting that the new town plan would affect future generations and urged participants to think in the long term – up to 30 years into the future – when making their recommendations.

“Our company will gather all the suggestions and opinions we receive and come up with a draft plan that conforms with the needs of Patong residents. Then we will return and present the draft for public scrutiny to ensure that it is really what people want,” Dr Supornchai said.

Speaking as a local businessman, Pian Keesin pointed to a map of Patong and noted that the area along Nanai Rd, now home to over 1,000 apartments and private residences, was still zoned as agricultural land.

K. Pian, whose election as Mayor in June has yet to be approved by the Election Commission, served his last stint as Mayor of Patong from October 1998 to 2001.

He said that public areas have been built upon with no regard for the town’s future and urged the planners to enact zoning regulations that would prevent further encroachment on public waterways. He called for an improved network of drainage canals and asked the planners to allow for the development of public parks along their banks in the future.

Speaking of Patong’s traffic woes, he said that the plan should also solve Patong’s oversupply of tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis.

“First we need to learn their exact number. Then we need to establish suitable places for them. But I am not sure if the Governor, the police and other bodies are really committed to the law enforcement effort that would be needed [to solve the traffic problem].”

“I once suggested to PM Thaksin Shinawatra that the government buy back the land on which the Phuket Cabana and Patong Bayshore hotels are built, to make a parking area. I am a partner in both these hotels, but I don’t mind selling the land back at actual cost and demolishing the hotels if it is in the public interest,” he said.

Regarding overcrowding along Patong Beach, K. Pian said that only about 10% of the five-kilometer stretch of beachfront property was actually titled, so it should be easy to rectify the problem if government officials were really committed to the effort.

Patong resident Boonchuai Ruanpetch agreed that planning was needed, but added that poor public relations had meant that few residents knew anything about the hearing in advance, and therefore it was a failure.

K. Boonchuai also blamed a lack of political leadership in the past for Patong’s chronic woes.

“There were former Patong Chief Administrative Officers who were keen to solve Patong’s problems, but there was a powerful politician – and I don’t want to name him – who derived his power base from the people who were causing all the problems,” he said.

Malinee Setanant, Director of Planning Standards Development Division of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, assured those in attendance that the plan finally adopted would reflect public needs.

Once finalized, the plans and new regulations associated with them could go into effect immediately a new order is issued by the Ministry of Interior, she said.

She said her department and the consulting firm had already identified the need to prevent flooding in Patong, and that new regulations prohibiting residents from filling in drainage courses would likely be adopted. The town’s natural waterways would be returned to the public, she said.

The consultants and government planners held similar poorly-attended public hearings for Kamala and Cherng Talay today, and have scheduled another for Mai Khao tomorrow at 8 am, at the Aerothai Building.

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.

The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.

The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.

Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.

As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.

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