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Tourists told to visit Phuket



Tourists told to visit Phuket | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: Thailand’s PM Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared a State of Emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. A State of Emergency dramatically increases the power of the government, but it really means little to the average tourist and very much depends on how the government enforces the decree, something which is far from clear at the moment.

Asia Travel Tips writes: “We advise tourists to exercise caution, avoid demonstrations and getting involved in political debate, and even refrain from wearing red or yellow shirts. If the situation concerns you, then visit other parts of Thailand, such as Phuket, Krabi, Koh Lanta and Samui.”

Crackdown on protesters

Thailand has issued arrest warrants for seven people allegedly involved in the storming of the country’s parliament on Wednesday, which forced MPs to flee dramatically.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the action means the red-shirt demonstrations can no longer be considered peaceful, but he added that once “leaders who prefer violence are arrested” he believed other protesters would be persuaded to leave their current site.

Despite the state of emergency, the red-shirted protesters show no signs of moving voluntarily from the commercial district.

Thai economy struggling

Recent political confrontations have subdued Thailand’s hot stock market, which posted its biggest fall in more than two months yesterday, losing more than 2 percent and underperforming its Asian peers. The local baht currency was also weaker.

Foreigners had snapped up $1.82 billion of Thai stocks since February 22. But, reflecting recent tensions, five-year credit default swaps widened 8 basis points on Thursday to as much as 109, the highest since March 4.  

However, many investors doubt that even a violent impasse will derail a rebound in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy and one of the world’s fastest-rebounding emerging markets.

Thai stocks have risen 80 percent over the past 12 months, making them Asia’s third-best performer.

British Mayday festivities in Phuket
Pay a visit to the Green Man Inn, Phuket, on May 1st for the annual Mayday fete, which features a range of typically British activities and attractions. There will be a host of musical performances throughout the day, as well as the chance to try your hand at maypole dancing – or simply relax and sample some barbequed treats.

There will also be a car boot sale and plenty of games for children. This is the ninth year that the Green Man has held its Mayday festival, which will run from 0900 until 1800.

For further details on this and 50 other key dates for Phuket, see the Phuket Events Calendar here, or page 7 in the Gazette on newsstands tomorrow morning. [Subscribers to the ‘Digital Gazette’ click here.]

Koreans love Phuket

Nam News Network
Phuket tourism authorities will be in Seoul and Busan, South Korea April 25-30 to promote Thai tourism there in hopes of attracting more Koreans to the Andaman Sea tourist haven, of which Phuket is the centerpiece.

Four airlines currently operate direct flights between Seoul and Phuket. Tourism statistics in Phuket and Seoul show that South Korean couples love to celebrate their honeymoon in Phuket. In 2007, some 220,000 Korean travellers chose Thailand as their destination, while in the following two years the number of Korean tourists rose to 250,000.

This year, it is expected that more than 270,000 South Korean visitors will enter Thailand.

TV station shut down

Anti-government protesters in Thailand remained defiant yesterday as they demanded officials reopen their television station, which was shut down amid accusations of misinformation. PTV was closed down shortly after the government declared a state of emergency on Wednesday evening.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the station was shut down “to restore peace and order and to stop the spreading of false information to the Thai public.”

The emergency measures ban the publishing, broadcasting or spreading of information considered a threat to national security.

— Gazette Editors


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