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Phuket Town wins international development award

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Town wins international development award | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Phuket City Municipality has received an award in the category of ‘Promoting Economic Development’. The accolade has been granted in recognition of the municipality’s ‘Old Town’ project.

Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwanasupana said the municipality was also cited as one of 16 “exemplars of good government” by a group of institutions.

The group includes the Thai Environmental Institute; Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation; United Cities and Local Governments Asia-Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), the regional section of which is based in Jakarta, Indonesia; and the Local Government Development Foundation (Logodef), based in Manila.

The report was published on the Thai-language Daily News website on Thursday.

The selection was made under the auspices of the European Commission (EC) as part of a project called ‘Partnership for Democratic Local Governance in Southeast Asia’.

Five nations are targeted by the project: The Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand.

“The project goal is to create a network of local governments in the five nations to promote consultation and exchange of ideas,” said Mayor Somjai, who has occupied the mayor’s seat in Phuket Town for most of the last decade.

“The institutes selected six local governments notable not only for achievements, but for winning acceptance from local people for their initiatives in six cases,” she said.

Those cases were:

  • Khon Kaen, for success in including local people in developing the city plan;
  • Tambon Prik, Yala and Yala Town, for moral righteousness within government;
  • Udon Thani City and Tambon Klang, Udon Thani, for stressing environmental organization in public service.
  • Phuket City Municipality for budgeting and investment in economic revival.
  • “Our Old Town commercial zone development project was cited as a case in point, as were investments aimed at economic revival in the city and its communities. They saw that we were promoting not only growth but local pride in our traditions.

    “We also offered the chance of participation in planning and operations to local associations and individuals,” said Mayor Somjai.

    Phuket Town was chosen one of just 16 exemplars from the five nations by “a committee of experts on good government” meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    “Information about Phuket Town will be broadcast throughout Southeast Asia. Personnel will be exchanged and study trips undertaken between the various city governments. People participating in the project when they return home will become trainers, showing others how to improve performance,” Mayor Somjai said.

    “Winning recognition on an international scale for good governance makes city workers and members of the city government proud, too,” Mayor Somjai said.

    The project, begun in March 2010, is funded by the EC and the Germany’s Ministry for Development Cooperation.

    During its 30-month lifetime, the project will establish a network of local government associationsand concentrate activities on: grassroots participation in planning and decision making; institutional governance; urban environment; fiscal management and investment promotion strategies.

    The 16 best practice cases, having been identified, will be transferred to selected local governments.

    Transfer of best-practice success stories follows a transnational approach adaptable to different political and cultural backgrounds.

    The overall project aims at improving living conditions of poor and disadvantaged people through increased participation in local planning and decision making.

    Other activities include: creating a website and study materials; training selected personnel and developing an exchange program for participants.

    Two cornerstones of the Old Town development plan are the on-going project to bury underground cables in the old quarter and the construction of a new wet market on Ranong Road.

    The cable project, now in its second phase, is widely hailed as a success.

    The Ranong Road Market has proven more problematic. Completed over a year ago, vendors with the right to occupy stalls there are balking at the chance to do so, citing high fees.

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    Phuket

    Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index

    Caitlin Ashworth

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    Phuket tops travel destination list of cheapest hotel prices – Dertour 2020 Price Index | The Thaiger
    PHOTO: Phuket Hotels Association

    Phuket tops a list of the cheapest travel destinations with a 1 night stay at a hotel costing on average less than $30 USD, according to a study by the German travel company Dertour. Phuket is going through what some say is a “crisis”, certainly a current tourist vacuum. The island province largely relies on income from foreign tourists, but with travel bans over the last 7 months, hotels and other businesses in the tourism industry have been at a loss.

    For domestic tourists, Phuket currently offers a serene, peaceful tropical stay where you’ll have a lot of the island to yourself. There are plenty of daily flights to the island, but all from domestic locations at this stage – the international terminal remains closed.

    Along with being listed as hotels with the lowest price, Phuket also made the top 5 cities with the largest price drop from 2019 to 2020, according to Dertour’s 2020 Accommodation Price Index. The company studied hotel prices for 75 popular tourist destinations around the world. Bangkok was just above Phuket at the fourth city with the largest hotel price drop. Bangkok hotel prices dropped by 34.6% while Phuket’s hotel prices dropped by 33.8%.

    Prices will continue to be low, CEO DER Touristik Central Europe Ingo Burmester says…

    “Travel itself will be cheap in 2021… Although it has been a challenging period, we have seen a great deal of interest in domestic travel. We also predict a major catch-up effect for Mediterranean destinations, European trips and long-haul routes in 2021 as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.”

    Phuket ranks as the destination with the cheapest accommodation prices at an average price of $29 USD, according to the list. Average prices for 3-star hotels are $26 USD and an average of $54 USD for 5-star hotels.

    Bangkok followed, ranking fifth on the list of cities with the lowest hotel price at an average of $43 USD per night. 3-star hotels in Bangkok average at $30 per night and 5-star hotels average at $93 USD.

    Top 5 destinations with the lowest price in accommodation

    1. Phuket: Average of $29 USD per night
    2. Delhi: Average of $34 USD per night
    3. Kuala Lumpur: Average of $36 USD per night
    4. Bali: Average of $36 USD per night
    5. Bangkok: Average of $43 USD per night

    Top 5 destinations with the largest price drop in accommodation

    1. Amsterdam: Dropped by 51.6%
    2. San Francisco: Dropped by 39.2%
    3. Vancouver: Dropped by 37.1%
    4. Bangkok: Dropped by 34.6%
    5. Phuket: Dropped by 33.8%

    To read Dertour’s full report, click HERE.

    Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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    Phuket

    Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle

    Caitlin Ashworth

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    Man arrested after allegedly slicing a man’s face with sickle | The Thaiger
    FILE PHOTO

    A man was arrested on charges of grievous bodily harm after he allegedly sliced his friend’s face with a sickle, causing a gash about 25 centimetres long.

    3 men, identified as Saeng, Ta and Rop, had been drinking at a shanty in Phuket’s Rassada district where Rop lived. An argument broke out over money. A bank transfer was apparently made, but no one received any money, according to Rop as he related the story to police.

    The men didn’t come to an agreement and ended up going to bed. Ta stayed awake and slapped Saeng twice while he was falling asleep, Rop says. Saeng then got up, grabbed the sickle and swung the hooked blade across Ta’s cheek, Rop says.

    Reports don’t go into detail about Ta’s condition, but photos of the scene by the Phuket News show a significant amount of blood on the concrete floor.

    SOURCE: Phuket News

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    Phuket

    PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters

    Maya Taylor

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    PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters | The Thaiger
    PHOTO: Phuket People's Voice

    PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is to arrive in Phuket on Monday, where he will meet with local business leaders and discuss proposals for reviving the southern island’s devastated tourism sector. It’s understood a representative of Phuket’s Old Town area is to put forward an idea for promoting the historic centre as a tourist destination.

    Since borders were closed in late March, in an effort to protect the country from the Covid-19 pandemic, Phuket’s tourist revenue has plummeted to practically zero, with countless businesses shuttered and thousands of jobs lost.

    In addition to hearing suggestions from local operators on how to revive tourism on the island, the PM will also listen to requests for additional help from central government. The much-discussed Phuket Model never materialised, despite being seen at one point as the pilot project on which a wider re-opening of borders would be based.

    While hotel occupancy in the province has increased from a pitiful 13.4% in June, September’s rates were still woefully low, at just 30%. This is despite a stimulus package introduced by the government in an effort to boost domestic tourism.

    SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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