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Phuket

Tour operators win park fees battle

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tour operators win park fees battle | The Thaiger

PHUKET: In a major victory for local tour operators, the Royal Forestry Department (RFD) has backed down on enforcement of the 200-baht entry fee for foreigners in tour groups visiting the Phang Nga Bay National Park. Individual foreigners going into the park will still be required to pay 200 baht a head, (100 baht for children) compared with 20 baht a head for Thais (10 baht for children). Yesterday representatives of the Phuket Eco-Tourism Association (PETA) met in Bangkok with Plodprasop Suraswadi, Director-General of the RFD, and Chet Poungjit, Chief of Phang Nga Bay National Park, to discuss an extension of the concessionary fees scheme that was launched last year and officially expired on October 1. According to PETA, Phang Nga Bay was the only national park in the entire country to impose the full fees on tour and dive groups from the beginning of this month, a decision that sparked a mass protest Saturday by PETA members. They argued that the livelihoods of thousands of local people were threatened by the 900% jump in fees, which would probably deter foreigners from visiting the park. Now, however, PETA Secretary Chartwut Boonyarak explained, “The concessionary scheme is extended for another year, which means that tour and dive operators will pay only 20 baht for every foreign tourist.” The scheme will expire on September 30 next year. The RFD did not say whether this extension applies to other national parks in Thailand.



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Phuket

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin

The Thaiger

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Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

UPDATE: The suspect in this morning’s shootings, 53 year old Chana Rodket from Songkhla, has shot and killed himself in Saphan His this afternoon. He was a housekeeper a the beauty spa where the shooting took place.

Earlier, a South Korean man and Thai woman were injured in a shooting at a beauty spa near Naka Market in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds. Wichit Police reports that they was notified of the incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ at 10.30am.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots. Blood-stained towels were found around the scene of the shooting.

The two people shot were 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim (father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa) and a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua, a staff member at the spa.

Both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning

The Thaiger

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning | The Thaiger

A South Korean man and Thai woman have been injured in spa shooting in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds after having been shot at the spa in Wichit today.

Wichit Police reports that they was notified of an incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ in Wichit at 10.30am this morning.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots – a 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim, and father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa.

The other person injured was a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua who is staff at the spa.

They were both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The suspect, Somphon, a house-keeper at the spa, is currently being sought by police.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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