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PM calls for long-term plans to revitalise Phuket and Koh Samui

Caitlin Ashworth

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PM calls for long-term plans to revitalise Phuket and Koh Samui | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Deepain Jindal
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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is calling for long-term plans to rehabilitate Thailand’s tourist destinations following his visit to Koh Samui and Phuket where he saw first hand how the Covid-19 pandemic affected both islands.

Prayut says conditions at Phuket are much more drastic as the province heavily relies on international travel. The prime minister says Phuket generates the second-highest income from the tourism industry, just under Bangkok. Prayut says authorities need to rebuild the tourism sector at major destinations like Phuket.

“When I arrived in Koh Samui and Phuket and saw the conditions of both cities, I realized that conditions in Phuket were more drastic because the province had only relied on tourism. So, we have to figure out how to make the situation in Phuket better and we will look forward to gathering information in order to find a proper solution for all parties.”

Phuket officials have been working for months, trying to figure out how to revive the crippled economy and draw in visitors to keep what’s left of the tourism industry alive. Phuket has proposed wellness tourism projects, provincial infrastructure developments and extension of the program “We Travel Together.”

The province is also gearing up for international travellers. Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways will start offering flights to Phuket. An Emirates flight that originated from Dubai landed in Phuket today. While the flight wasn’t carrying passengers, it was the first international arrival since the Covid-19 lockdown was put in place 7 months ago.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Patrick Nouvel

    November 3, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Bla bla bla… No concrete action, at least open S Korea, China, Taiwan, HK, Malaysia, Singapore… No quarantine, or at worst 3 days for free…

  2. Avatar

    Jitendra Bahubali

    November 3, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    What kind of madness and drama is this to bring empty flight to Phuket just to please the Junta leader.???? DO you know how much carbon and air pollution is increased due to one flight? All this just for show off ? Thailand is loosing it’s mind or what?

    The IATA and other Aviation industries should take strict action against this kind of acts…

  3. Avatar

    SG666

    November 3, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Yep… Emirates will fly Phuket…International arrival…HAHAHA. The flight everybody is talking about was Dubai-Bangkok and than Bangkok – Phuket. Looks like a marketing gag for Emirates and a treat for uncle Pinocchio.

    Lets assume Emirates and Qatar will fly Phuket they will simply fly in empty or with cargo and will fly out with passengers who want to leave LOScam to the middle east.

    More Nonsense from the Bangkok Dreamboys tomorrow. I am sure.

  4. Avatar

    Fabian

    November 3, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    I totally misjudged the PM, he is so involved with the country. Seven months after the lockdown ALREADY he came to Phuket to see with his own eyes how devastated the area is.

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    November 4, 2020 at 2:09 am

    So Phuket’s plan to fix the economy is: Wellness tourism, Provincial infrastructure, and “we travel together”? Really that’s it? Wellness tourism is already a mature sector even in Thailand let alone the world. First it takes tourists, you know those people who already have shown a lack on interest in coming to Thailand under the current restrictions. Even if you can forget that little point, you are trying to draw these people away from other locations. Tough sell even under the best conditions. Provincial infrastructure ok I can see that. Except it takes money, something that is in short supply. On top of that most infrastructure projects take at least six months to a year to get started. That’s for a run of the mill street job, not something major like a bridge or rail line, those can take several years to start. We Travel Together? That’s an already failed project twice over. Third time is a charm or the definition of insanity? They need something that can start generating jobs, and lots of them, in a short timeframe. I don’t see anything that would lead me to believe anyone there has any real plan to do that.

  6. Avatar

    Lily

    November 4, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Empty flight has all to do with landing fees and keeping your right for landing in a country.
    In these times where borders are closed, there should be different rules to keep their landings rights and fees.

    What I do not understand….it’s all about Phuket, as a serious tourist, the last place you want to be is Phuket

  7. Avatar

    maxcorrigan

    November 6, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Lets Hope Kho Tao is suffering too, they deserve it for some of the Horrendous happenings in the past on that island!

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

Bill Barnett

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Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent | The Thaiger

Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted to limited ASQ traffic. The situation is dire, when you consider that between 15-20% of Thailand’s GDP is linked to tourism.

In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke clearly that only when a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented, would the country open to substantial tourism. Given the current timelines and forecasts, this may not be likely until mid-2021 at the earliest, though subject to advancement if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.

For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021, for the most part, will see a continued reliance on domestic travellers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.

Given the winter spike in Asia, Europe, and North America of Covid-19, Thailand is not alone in relying on the vaccine to return tourism but the process will not be instant and the re-openings of borders will most certainly be staged.

HERE’s a list of 113 Alternative State Quarantine hotels.

The business reality for Phuket and across Thailand is to plan for the worst in the coming six months and only expect 2022 to see a notable uptick.

Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.

While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. ‘Survive the downturn’ is the new mantra.

No vaccine, no entry. Read more HERE.

No vaccine, no flight. Read more HERE.

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Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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