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Phuket officials outline plans for economic recovery

Maya Taylor

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Phuket officials outline plans for economic recovery | The Thaiger
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As Thailand’s tourist hot spots struggle under the devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, officials in Phuket are attempting to kick-start tourism in the province. Focusing initially on domestic tourism, deputy governor Pichet Panapong hopes a number of planned events will draw visitors to the southern province.

The Phuket Seafood and Gastronomy Festival, which started at the weekend and runs until September 13, is talking place at various spots around the island, featuring local suppliers, hotels, and restaurants. It’s hoped the event will attract thousands of domestic tourists to the island over the course of the foodie festival. Details of the locations taking part can be found HERE.

Officials are also calling on the island’s transport providers to offer incentives such as discounts to visiting tourists, with Pichet pointing out that officials will monitor pricing to ensure it is fair. Historically, Phuket’s transport system has been a strong disincentive for people to travel around the island. Tuk Tuk and taxi cabals, particularly focussed around Patong and airport transport, have left the island with an appalling reputation for rip offs and price-gouging.

On the question of international arrivals and the much talked about “travel bubblescheme, the deputy governor says talks are still continuing with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. He says if such a scheme were to be introduced, strict criteria would apply, including Covid-19 testing of passengers in their home country, along with written authorisation to enter the Kingdom, issued by a Thai Embassy. Mandatory health insurance with coverage of US$100,000 or over 3 million baht, is also a requirement. And then a quarantine period when they arrive.

In addition to foreign tourists, Pichet says hundreds of foreign students are anxious to come to Phuket for study purposes. However, he says it’s vital that local people are comfortable with any travel bubble arrangements put in place, adding that officials must outline how they would handle any possible resurgence in local transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

The pandemic has focussed a spotlight on Phuket’s almost total reliance on tourism, with its economy decimated by a ban on international commercial flights, highlighting the need to diversify. Officials are now eyeing plans to make the province a centre of industry for those involved in agriculture, gastronomy and seafood. Pichet says that while tourists will continue to be an important revenue stream, it’s hoped Phuket can attract more medical and wellness tourists, with talk of a 3 billion baht medical hub for the province (again, reliant on international tourists).

“Phuket’s location can be used as a selling point of a medical plaza project which will feature a long-term care centre for foreign patients with serious illnesses and nursing homes. Foreign patients can come here for treatments and travel at the same time.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Domestic tourists and foreign students, huh?

  2. Avatar

    Richard Barker

    August 17, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Yep ! Good luck with that

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 17, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Die Phuket. you deserve it after all the scams cheats and double pricing you have inflicted on foreign tourist for the last twenty years.

  4. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    August 18, 2020 at 1:01 am

    “it’s vital that local people are comfortable with any travel bubble arrangements put in place”
    It’s vital that local people are comfortable with reduced incomes and higher rates of unemployment and poverty, following that logic. If there’s nobody to buy your stuff, there’s no money… Life101

  5. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    August 18, 2020 at 5:03 am

    Domestic tourism? Do you spend your savings when you see your friends and family loosing their job? I do NOT!

  6. Avatar

    simon

    August 18, 2020 at 5:54 am

    Where are these domestic tourists getting the extra money from?

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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