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TAT to push THAI for more direct flights

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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TAT to push THAI for more direct flights | The Thaiger

LAGUNA PHUKET: Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Juthamas Siriwan today stepped into the lions’ den – a room at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket filled with hoteliers and property industry figures.

Many of them have in the past been less than impressed with the TAT’s support for the tourism industry in the tsunami-hit provinces, some vocally so.

But K. Juthamas came out of this morning’s meeting in one piece and smelling of roses.

A surprise pledge by K. Juthamas to push for Thai Airways International (THAI) to provide more direct international flights to Phuket, in particular to and from Hong Kong, Australia and Japan, all major sources of tourists for Phuket, eased the delegates’ concerns.

“It seems to me from what I have heard here that there are tourists who want to come, but there are no flights. If we see the potential from Australia, say, or from Hong Kong, instead of [using the TAT’s] budget for advertising, we [will] support THAI and you [will] do the marketing,” she suggested.

Laguna Phuket’s Joint Managing Director James Batt, who convened the meeting, described this as “a very good idea”, and explained to K. Juthamas, “We are all sitting here with the budgets to go out and do tactical advertising in these [markets].

“The difficulty is getting the flights. If we can give financial support [to THAI], then the rest of it will follow.

“In a way, [the TAT] is not even spending money within ‘Thailand Inc’ – the money’s going from one pocket [the TAT] into another [THAI]. It’s a beautiful solution.”

He said that if the TAT would cooperate with THAI, and if the hotels would work together with tour agents overseas, then this could break the current deadlock that sees THAI unwilling to make more seats available without having guarantees that it can fill them – and agents unable to book tourists for holidays because seats are not available.

“I will talk with my partner, Thai International,” K. Juthamas said, “to help give you more flights, but you have to tell me which routes you want first or second, and so on… I sit as an adviser to the board of THAI.”

Not everyone was as upbeat as K. Juthamas and Mr Batt, however. Maitree Narukatpichai, Owner’s Representative of the Hilton Phuket Arcadia, was dubious.

“We have been to a lot of meetings and until now, everything is still the same. I don’t see any impact for Phuket,” he said.

But the general mood was summed up by Evason General Manager Alasdair Junor, who said, “We’re here to move forward. I think that it’s a terrific strategy if we formalize it.”



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

The Thaiger

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

The Thaiger

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

The Thaiger

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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