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The rise of ASEAN football

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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The rise of ASEAN football | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The sport of football is considered by many to be the most popular game on the planet. While it has been a mainstay in the European and South American nations for decades, increased access to matches and a youthful fan base have now allowed this exciting sport to reach the far corners of the globe.

A notable example of this widespread popularity can be seen in the increasing recognition received by what is known as the ASEAN Football Federation (an acronym for Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

As a greater number of fans are attracted to this arena each day, many are now choosing to use electronic sportsbook services to obtain the latest information about individual players and recent team performances.

The unmistakable rise of Southeast Asian football

One of the fundamental factors that has contributed to the unprecedented popularity of this sport is the fact that in Southeast Asia alone, nearly 600 million residents are quite in love with this game. Although the teams in this region are still in their relative infant stages, this area already boasts diehard fans of both the English Premier League as well as some of the German teams that have proven themselves powerhouses in Europe. It can only be imagined that during this match, plenty of Thai fans were on the edge of their seats.

Another contributing factor to the massive presence of football in Southeast Asia has to do with outside investment. A large number of casinos and other gaming establishments have been created throughout the growing urban centers, so it should come as no surprise that sports betting has quickly followed. Football is as much as sociological phenomenon as it is a pastime, so now we are witnessing the youth of this region becoming world-class players.

One excellent example of such a stellar rise is the recent prowess exhibited by striker Teerasil Dangda; purported to be the best striker in all of Southeast Asia. The prospects for this young man are indeed considerable and many believe that the only logical next step would to be his introduction to the European football arena. Many analysts predict that a portion of the best online sportsbook services will begin to pay close attention to this striker and others emerging from this area.

Also, let us not forget that the majority of rising stars have based their training and motivation off of proven European and British teams. Thus, they will bring a tenacity and mental preparedness to the game that is rarely seen outside of the western world. This is due in no small part to the increasing access of high speed internet and the daily updates such as this recent recap of the match between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal. following such high calibre teams and players will only breed native talent of a similar quality.

Finally, the rise of ASEAN football is important from an economic point of view. Should southeast Asia eventually develop a strong team, local and international wagering will increase along with the sheer number of travelers to observe in far eastern matches. This influx is all but essential for continued regional growth and to help Southeast Asia capitalize on their known talent. It is well known that fans will pay a substantial amount of money to watch games.

While this is important for domestic residents, southeast Asia enjoys the unique benefit of having a currency that it profoundly undervalued in comparison to the dollar, the Euro and in particular, the Pound Sterling. Although many involved in sports betting may not recognize the significance, foreign currency will travel much further in this region. This will result in increased tourism if and when this region comes into its own.

Simply stated, although some reputable football organizations may still be concerned with happenings closer to home, the odds are that this attitude will change as more raw talent is seen circulating from southeast Asia and more specifically, Thailand. Most avid fans and players alike see such movements as nothing more than a natural progression; simply untapped talent waiting to be discovered. It will indeed be interesting to see what legends may emerge out of this “dark horse” region in the near future.

Keep checking our online Phuket Sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter for the latest local, national and international sporting news.

— bosports

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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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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Events

The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners

The Thaiger

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The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners | The Thaiger

4,000 runners from Thailand and overseas took part in the 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half Marathon 2019 yesterday, starting from the Phuket Gateway.

The event is expected to raise 700,000 baht for the charity, now in its 15th year. The money raised goes towards to The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment, and ecosystems, for the wellbeing of sea turtles that nest in the Mai Khao beach and the surrounding areas.

The annual race also provides funds for thePhuket Marine Biological Centre’s Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program and The Third NavalArea Command’s Turtle Hatchery Program.

The race was in its 15th year and runners of all ages and abilities took part in the race. The morning’s racing was divided into five categories – the 21.1km half marathon, 10.5km mini- marathon, 5km fun run and 3k family run and VIP participants for all the races. The route of 21.1 kilometre race took runners northwest along the Haad Sai Kaew beach towards Thao Thepkasattri bridge, past the rural road No. 3006, run along the road – Pi Lai viewpoint area returned back along the T. Baan Tha Nun to the iconic Sarasin bridge before finished the half marathon in the Phuket Gateway.

For Mini Marathon 10.5 km – Over all category, Mr. Chinnawat Changlek clocked 39 minutes and 40 seconds to clinch victory in the male half marathon, winning prize money and a trophy with the signature of Phuket’s Governor. The winner in the female mini marathon was Surakarn Wanna with a time of 47 minutes and 47 seconds.

Winners also received a prize gift voucher as well as a medal. Congratulations to all participants.

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