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Phuket’s hotel bookings starting to wane in wake of boating disaster

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The Nation is reporting that Thai tourism authorities are expressing concern following an increase in cancellations of hotel room bookings by Chinese tourists following the tragic July 5 boat accident.

So far, 7,300 Phuket hotel room bookings for July and August have been cancelled by Chinese tourists in just 16 hotels that have reported figures so far, out of 160 in the Southern Hoteliers’ Association group.

Industry insiders say the numbers are likely to increase as more hotels report their booking status. Chinese account for as many as 3 million tourists in Phuket per year, while on average some 10 million Chinese tourists visit Thailand every year.

Kongsak Kupongsakorn, president of the Southern Hoteliers’ Association, said 19 member hotels had already reported their cancellations while another 160 hotels have yet to file their reports. The negative impacts of the July 5 accident in which nearly 50 were killed are widespread and more serious than previously thought, he said.

Phuket's hotel bookings starting to wane in wake of boating disaster | News by Thaiger

Chatchai Tipsunavee, permanent secretary at the Tourism and Sports Ministry, said a massive number of hotel booking cancellations had been reported despite remedial measures taken by the Thai government following the boat accident.

At this stage, hotel room cancellations are estimated to account for 10-15 per cent of the total business in the world-renowned resort province.

Chiaya Rapuepol, president of the Andaman Sea tourism business association, said the boat accident could cost as much as 42 billion baht in lost tourism and related revenues over the next two months. He called for the government to restore confidence in tourist safety as soon as possible to avoid even greater damage being caused to Phuket’s 350 billion baht per annum tourism industry. News reports of the two boats capsizing received worldwide media coverage.

Phuket Governor Napat Prodthong wants the government to set up a command centre to regulate all Andaman Sea tourist activities in the nearby Phang Nga province.

He suggested inspection points for all incoming and outgoing vessels so that authorities could more effectively enforce safety and |related laws on vessel operators, captains, passengers and crew.

The Phang Nga command centre could take responsibility for Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Phang Nga provinces, he said, adding that Phuket itself will have its own vessel command units at Ao Por, Ratchata Harbour and Ao Chalong Harbour, with closed-circuit and surveillance TV systems installed to record all incoming and outgoing tourists.

Phuket's hotel bookings starting to wane in wake of boating disaster | News by Thaiger

Overall, the Phang Nga command centre and other facilities would cost Bt500 million to Bt600 million to boost tourist safety in the Andaman Sea, he said.

Meanwhile, the Phuket governor and other provincial authorities have joined with Vice Admiral Somneuk Prempramoj, commander of the Third-Region Navy responsible for Phuket and other Andaman Sea provinces, to work with harbour operators and other businesses to ensure tourist safety in the wake of the disaster. The government has announced a revamping of safety rules and regulations to prevent future accidents. The large number of vessels, boat services and even harbours in Phuket alone present a challenge for properly regulating the industry.

The Navy has sent its personnel to help provincial authorities restore confidence and to help upgrade the safety system by issuing early warnings on bad weather. Tourism authorities and others must step up preventive safety measures, such as ensuring passengers are taught how to use safety vests.

Somnuek said the Navy would propose that the central government use Article 44 of the charter to empower Phuket authorities to fast-track enforcement of rules and regulations to boost safety.

Meanwhile, Woraluk Reukch-aikan, managing director of TC Blue Dream Co, owner of the ill-fated Pheonix tourist boat, surrendered on Saturday and will appear in court today to seek release on bail.

Relatives of the 29 victims killed in the accident have been paid more than Bt60 million in combined compensation. Altogether, 46 bodies have been recovered from the sea, while authorities are still attempting to recover another body struck in the boat’s wreckage and another passenger is still missing.

Reported by The Nation

 

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Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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