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TAT must focus on Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



TAT must focus on Phuket | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: An editorial in eTurboNews opines that political unrest in Thailand over the past few weeks now presents the greatest challenge to the reputation of Thai tourism since the December 2004 tsunami.

The travel industry site suggests Phuket and other areas of Thailand less affected by political violence should be promoted as “entirely separate” destinations. Promoting tourism to Phuket, which is a well-serviced gateway point, or Chiang Mai, rather than to Thailand as a whole, would be a wise tactic.

The traveling public sees Thailand as dangerous, but not Phuket. So far, the Tourism Association of Thailand’s major response to the turmoil in Bangkok has been to offer a range of incentives to visit Thailand, but the association now needs to become more specific in terms of the places it should be selling as attractive destinations.

Tourists worry about violence spreading

Qantas says flights into Thailand are running as normal, but it is offering customers a full fare waiver if they want to cancel their trip.

A spokeswoman says so far there have not been many cancellations.

However, yesterday an Australian travel company cancelled 11 tours to Bangkok that were due to leave in the coming weeks. Hoteliers in Phuket confirm cancellations from the Australian market, mostly tour group bookings.

Australian National University professor Dr Andrew Walker maintains other regional centres could be affected by the conflict in the Thai capital. “I think there is a considerable possibility that we could see some protest activities and perhaps some conflicts in centres like Chiang Mai,” he says.

Centara opening soon in Phuket

Asia Travel Tips
Thailand-based Centara Hotels & Resorts is to expand its portfolio of hotels in Phuket with the opening of the Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket in October this year.

The new hotel is one of the few at Karon to be set directly at the edge of the sand, most of the existing properties being on the other side of the busy beach road.

“We have been greatly encouraged by the success of our Krabi and Pattaya properties, which are proving to have broad appeal for both the adult and the family markets,” said Gerd Steeb, president of Centara Hotels & Resorts.

Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is also fully equipped for meetings.

The five-star resort is Centara’s fourth property in Phuket.

Phuket Raceweek renewed
Six Senses Phuket Raceweek will again see competitors engaging in battle on the waters off Phuket’s southeast coast, from July 21-25.

Phuket Raceweek this year will also mark the opening leg of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix (AYGP). A selection of top class racing events, the AYGP sees the finest teams compete over the season in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines as well as Thailand.

World supercar brand Jaguar, co-sponsor for Six Senses Phuket Raceweek 2010, is also set to premiere its latest luxury saloon car, the All New XJ, at Asia’s fastest growing regatta.

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV are media sponsors of this event and will be covering it on a daily basis.

Tourism hammered

Bangkok Post
The intensifying political violence has pounded Thailand’s tourist industry, with arrivals down by about one third, Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa said on Tuesday.

The number of incoming passengers at Suvarnabhumi airport had dwindled from an average 30,000 to 20,000 passengers a day, as foreigners were concerned about the widespread chaos and the security situation, Mr Chumpol said.

He said 19 countries had warned their people to avoid visiting Thailand at this time.

The government had earlier hoped that tourism to the South, particularly Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi and Samui, would see a boost, “but it is now more difficult as foreigners think the unrest is occurring nationwide.” the minister said.

He said the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) had prepared plans to stimulate tourism in the third and fourth quarters of this year.

— Gazette Editors


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