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Tourism Minister affirms tourism targets

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tourism Minister affirms tourism targets | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Tourism and Sports Minister Dr Suwit Yodmanee yesterday affirmed the government’s national targets for 2007 of 14.8 million foreign tourists and 82 million Thai tourists, with earnings of 547,500 million baht and 377,800 million baht respectively.

Dr Suwit announced the targets at a meeting of about 280 government and private sector representatives from the 14 southern provinces at The Metropole hotel. Delegates included Governors, Vice-Governors, police, municipal and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) officials, travel agents and tour operators.

The domestic tourism plan for the southern region this year is aimed at general tourists, youth and family, working and high-income people, seniors, and corporate travelers, while the foreign tourism marketing plan is aimed at “high quality free individual travelers” (FIT), families, sport groups and honeymoon couples, he said.

The main attractions for the region were outlined as sea, sand, diving, golf, seafood and health services, but the TAT will also promote other attractions, such as culture, sports and entertainment.

Dr Suwit said that the plan for 2007 was to target the niche market of “good quality, foreign tourists”.

He said, “To support the growth of tourism, we must consider upgrading tourism resources according to ‘star rating’ standards, but at the same time use the ‘green leaf’ standard to protect the environment.

“We will also promote sport to attract tourists; and most importantly, help local people and communities to take part in local tourism,” he added.

After the meeting, Dr Suwit said that the most urgent problem that local businesspeople and government agencies had notified him of was the lack of direct international flights to many popular tourist destinations in the southern provinces.

“I will have to talk to the Transportation Ministry to find a way to help tourism in the South, such as connecting flights between Bangkok, Phuket and Haad Yai, and flights to Phang Nga, Samui and Ranong, with international flights,” he said.

“We will also have to study the capacity of some tourism destinations such as Samui, to determine whether they can support the number of tourists and meet demand for electricity and water,” he said.

The decades’ old idea of an international convention center in Phuket was raised again. “Phuket has requested to build a convention center [here], which I think is important; therefore I will discuss it again with the Phuket Governor,” Dr Suwit said.

He concluded by highlighting government efforts in promoting domestic tourism and distributing tourism dollars to those still not benefiting from the tourism bonanza, while making efforts to protect the environment.



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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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