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Thailand Tourism President calls for curfew to be lifted in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Thailand Tourism President calls for curfew to be lifted in Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), Piyaman Tejapaibul, has petitioned the ruling junta to lift the nightly curfew in Phuket and other tourist hotspots throughout the country.

Ms Piyaman told the Phuket Gazette today that she filed her request with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) at a meeting yesterday.

“I asked for General Prayuth Chan-ocha to consider lifting the curfew in some tourism areas, specifically Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Pattaya,” Ms Piyaman said.

“The NCPO accepted my proposal for consideration. However, I was informed that the army must be sure about any changes they make before taking any action.”

Ms Piyaman said that she hoped the NCPO would lift the curfew in tourist destinations as soon as possible.

“Tourism was hit hard before the coup due to the long-running street protests,” she said.

“Although it is too early to tell how many cancellations there have been because of the coup, we have to admit that it is affecting tourists’ confidence.”

TCT Vice President Pornthip Hirunkate pointed out that more than 50 nations had issued travel warnings urging their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Thailand.

“Among these, Hong Kong raised the warning to the top level,” Ms Pornthip told The Nation. “Furthermore, tourists from long-haul markets, including the US and Canada, as well as the UK and other European countries, have postponed their trips.”

Many business and leisure tourists reportedly also cancelled trips to Thailand last week.

Ms Piyaman pointed out that the past six months of political protests in the capital had stunted tourism growth for the year.

“The number of tourist arrivals during the first quarter this year dropped by 5.85% compared with last year, and the second quarter [which ends June 30] is already 8.75% behind last year,” she noted.

Considering the damage already done to the number of tourist arrivals, Ms Piyaman said the TCT supported the intervention by the military.

“We believe that it was better that the military stepped in than to let the protests go on forever. They had already gone on for far too long,” she said.

The TCT believes that the sector could record growth this year if a new government is installed quickly, and confidence in Thailand as a safe destination returns.

The council said next month’s Thailand Travel Mart in Bangkok was a chance for the industry to shine.

According to Ms Pornthip, tourism has suffered since the last coup in 2006 while other political issues, including the airport shutdown and street protests, have also had an impact, as did the severe floods in 2011. Despite that, the number of arrivals had continued to grow.

In 2006, Thailand received 13.8 million tourists. By 2013, the number of visitors had risen to 26.7 million, including an increase of 19.6% in the number of arrivals in that year alone.

“In Bangkok, the streets appear slightly quieter than usual and the general mood of the city seems calm,” Ms Pornthip said.

“But everyone in the country, especially in the tourism sector, hopes military rule is lifted soon and democracy restored.”

To counter the fall in the tourism arrivals, Ms Piyaman called on all media agencies to promote Thailand – by telling the truth.

“All we need to do to regain tourists’ confidence is to tell them exactly what is happening in Thailand and where tourists can travel to safely,” she explained.

“Let them know that nearly everyone is going about their lives normally. This is especially true in Phuket, where you can see that – except the curfew – there has been no impact.”

The curfew bans all unsanctioned travel on the streets from 10pm to 5am (story here).

Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut, at a briefing of governors and police chiefs at the Royal Thai Army Fourth Area Command in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, on Friday requested that Phuket be given a flexible curfew as it is a tourist destination (story here).

That request followed Weerawit Kurasombat, president of the Patong Entertainment Business Association, warning that the curfew was crippling Patong’s throbbing nightlife industry.

“If this curfew continues, it will be even worse than the tsunami. At least tourists could understand the tsunami was a natural disaster,” he said (story here).

However, the curfew looks set to stay until further notice.

Gen Prayuth, after receiving royal endorsement to lead the NCPO this morning, vowed to ease the “drastic measures” when the situation improved, but said the curfew was still needed (story here).

— Chutharat Plerin

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Pattaya

The body of an unidentified foreigner found floating south of Pattaya

The Thaiger

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The body of an unidentified foreigner found floating south of Pattaya | The Thaiger

A fisherman has recovered a body, thought to be a foreigner, from the Gulf of Thailand off Sattahip.

Na Jomtien Police were notified of the body by 24 year old Teerapong Boonwat, a fishing boat captain plying the waters around Sattahip, south of Pattaya.

Mr. Boonwat had recovered the body found floating near Koh Ped (Duck Island), about three nautical miles from the Sattahip shore. Police and emergency responders rushed to the scene near Amparam Temple.

Police report that the male body appears to be a foreigner aged around 40 years old with a beard and little head hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt, long jeans and black sneakers.

No identification was found on the man. It is believed that he had died at least 7 days before his body was found floating in the water. The police didn’t state if there was any signs of foul play or the condition of the body.

Police are investigating the incident and reviewing missing person reports to establish identification.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Pattaya

Pattaya City’s Police Chief dies from sudden heart attack on way to Bangkok

The Thaiger

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Pattaya City’s Police Chief dies from sudden heart attack on way to Bangkok | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

The Pattaya City Police Chief Col. Atinan Nuchanart has died from a heart attack yesterday morning (Friday) while he was on the way to a meeting. 59 year old Col Atinan was the Pattaya City Police Acting Chief, new in the position, and died at the Chonburi Hospital from a heart attack.

Yesterday morning he and his team were heading to Bangkok from Chonburi for a meeting when he started complaining of chest pains before falling unconscious in the car. The Chief was rushed to the Chonburi Hospital by other officers in the vehicle. He was pronounced dead by doctors at 2pm.

Col Atinan was born in Lopburi and was the previous Police Chief of Mueang Chonburi Police Station. He was later transferred as the Pattaya City Police Acting Chief on September 2. He had only been in the top job for little over a month.

The previous Pattaya police Chief was removed from the position pending an investigation into large drug raids at local discos open after legal closing hours during this year.

A full funeral for the well respected veteran officer will take place in the near future but has not been announced at this time.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Pattaya City's Police Chief dies from sudden heart attack on way to Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

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Local residents and vendors demand action on Pattaya Beach erosion

The Thaiger

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Local residents and vendors demand action on Pattaya Beach erosion | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

Recent heavy rains over the past week in Pattaya have caused significant deep erosion and gaping holes on Pattaya Beach that have now been sitting in plain view for nearly a week. The situation is an unsightly embarrassment and a potential hazard for tourists, according to local residents and beach vendors.

The Pattaya News reports that, earlier this week, storm waters were flowing onto Pattaya beach into the Gulf after torrential rains, notably at the beach area near Central Festival Pattaya, and have been washed away.

The erosion is at least a metre deep in places, exposing some of the underpinning sand-bag foundations that were placed there doing the re-instatement works last year. Local vendors are complaining that tourists were avoiding the beach.

Beach vendors say this erosion has happened nearly a week ago and is very dangerous especially at night time. They are asking for city officials to speed up repair work and fix the problem.

Earlier this week residents were complaining about an unknown white sediment floating around some of the areas where the erosion had occurred. Last year some 400 million baht was spent re-building some of Pattaya’s beaches which end up damaged and washed out to sea any time there are heavy rains.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Local residents and vendors demand action on Pattaya Beach erosion | News by The Thaiger Local residents and vendors demand action on Pattaya Beach erosion | News by The Thaiger

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