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Terror warning does not apply to Phuket: US Embassy

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Terror warning does not apply to Phuket: US Embassy | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Tourism operators yesterday threatened to march on the US Embassy if the United States refused to withdraw its terrorism warning for Bangkok within two days. However, local tourism operators can rest easy, as the embassy has reiterated that the warning does not apply to Phuket.

“Those concerned operators will join forces to submit their demand to US Ambassador Kristie Kenney to clarify the impacts [on the tourism industry] of maintaining the warning,” said Watchara Kannikar, spokesman of the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

“They will also present information that they got in cooperation with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the National Police Office and other security agencies, all of which show that Thailand is not a terrorist target,” he said yesterday after a meeting of the National Tourism Policy Committee.

The committee to monitor the situation after the posting of the terrorism warning in Bangkok by the US is also concerned about the impacts on tourists, especially those from China and India.

“Those news reports have made tourists reluctant to enter Thailand,” Mr Watchara said.

At the moment the number of cancellations of hotel-rooms and air-tickets has not reportedly jumped significantly.

Tourists have reportedly avoided Bangkok and proceeded directly to their destinations after taking off from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Chiang Mai and Phuket.

A US Embassy spokesperson told the Phuket Gazette this morning that the mission has adopted a “wait and see” approach in regard to the threatened protest.

He reiterated that the warning is specific to Bangkok and has no bearing on Phuket or other tourist destinations outside the capital.

Despite the worries over the terror scare, the Tourism and Sports ministry still projects that visitor arrivals will reach 19.55 million in 2012, up from 19 million last year. They expect to generate at least 760 billion baht in income for Thailand.

Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa went down to Khaosarn Road, where crowds of Israeli and American tourists gather, to convince them of Thailand’s security measures.

Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul said the ministry’s permanent secretary had explained the recent high-profile terrorism case to the United States.

“We believe the warning will be revoked,” he said. “It will just take some time.”

Surapong also expressed confidence that foreign terrorists would not stage any attacks in Thailand because the country had been friendly to all.

This month, Atris Hussein was arrested at Suvarnabhumi for his alleged link to a terrorism network .

A police investigation suggested that Hussein was planning to export bomb-making materials, such as urea fertilizer and ammonium nitrate, to a third country. Ammonium nitrate is a prohibited chemical in Thailand and Hussein is now facing charges of unauthorized possession of the controlled substance.

Hussein has two passports, Lebanese and Swedish. He had allegedly rented a shophouse in Samut Sakhon for about two years to keep the large stashes of ammonium nitrate and urea fertilizer, which have now been seized.

National Police chief Priewphan Damapong said police were seeking an arrest warrant for a second suspect in the case.

“We have drawn up a sketch based on the description given by Hussein and the shophouse owner,” the general said.

This suspect had lived in the shophouse with Hussein for months, he said.

Anuchai Lekbam-rung, deputy Metropolitan Police commissioner, identified this new suspect as James Sammy Paolo, a 40-year-old Lebanese.

“We believe there’s solid evidence against him,” he said.

Additional reporting by Phuket Gazette news editor Stephen Fein.

— Phuket Gazette / The Nation

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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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