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Songkran checkpoints launched in Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Songkran checkpoints launched in Phuket | The Thaiger

The Road and Marine Accident Protection and Reduction Centre for the 2018 Songkran Festival was launched by Phuket’s Governor Norapat Plodthong.

The centre brings together 33 government departments, non-profit organisations and volunteers such as local administration organizations, marine police, tourist police, individual enterprises, foundations and volunteers.

“Even though the number of accidents has reduced during New Year season over the past few years, the three district of Phuket are still in the red zone that has the top number of accidents in the country,” said the Governor.

“There are 30% increasing number of tourists in Phuket during Songkran Festival and the tourists will be mainly Chinese. During this time of the year there can also be a few thunderstorms which would increase the risk of accidents.

“This is why every sector has to work together, especially at the main checkpoints. If there’s an illegal action, the law has to be enforced strictly.

“There will be 15 main checkpoints, 15 sub checkpoints and 20 service points across the island and there will be a monitoring network that will report traffic violations. Students who break the traffic laws will also be reported to their institution and it will affect their score. Government officials who break traffic law will be punished by their organisation.”

Songkran checkpoints launched in Phuket | News - News by The Thaiger

Collecting the daily news around Phuket for many years. One of the island's most accurate and timely news-gatherers.

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Chiang Rai

Four others rescued in Tham Luang before the Mu Pa 13

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Four others rescued in Tham Luang before the Mu Pa 13 | The Thaiger

PHOTO: British cavers, Rick Stanton and John Volanthe

Dramatic new stories out of a “Hidden Earth” cave-community event where it’s been revealed that the, now famous, Mu Pa 13 weren’t the only people trapped inside the caves in Chiang Rai.

Two of the British divers who were part of the Tham Luang rescue effort, extracting the Mu Pa football team from a cave in Chiang Rai, claim that, before the much-publicised rescue, they’d earlier saved four other adults also stranded in the caves under the Tham Luang mountains.

The 13 team members of the Mu Pa football team were trapped by rising flood waters after they headed to the caves on June 23 as an after-practice excursion. It was only meant to last an hour.

At the time, officials leading the rescue effort called on the expertise of the international caving community, from England and Australia, who formed a diving dream team led by local Thai Navy SEALs.

British divers Rick Stanton and John Volanthen found the players marooned on a muddy bank nine days after the team entered the cave. The 13 had survived on rainwater dripping from rocks and the guidance of their older coach. They were extracted seven days later, the rescuers forced into taking swift action because of approaching monsoonal rains that would make the situation in the caves worse.

But days earlier, it’s emerged, the British team of Rick and John unexpectedly found four other Thais adults who, unknown to everyone else, had become trapped by floodwaters while trying to find the 13 young football players.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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Bangkok

Airbnb partners with Thailand Boutique Accommodation Trade Association

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Airbnb partners with Thailand Boutique Accommodation Trade Association | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Mike Orgill, Airbnb Country Manager for Southeast Asia (left) and Suparerk Soorangura, President of TBAA and Advisor to the Thai Travel Agents Association (right) signing the MoU.

Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company has announced its industry-first partnership with the Thailand Boutique Accommodation Trade Association (TBAA) to promote creative, people-powered Thai hospitality.

Through the partnership, Airbnb and the TBAA will bring boutique hotels onto Airbnb’s global people-to-people platform and connect them to its international network of travellers, which has seen more than 300 million guest arrivals since it was founded 10 years ago.

Airbnb is the first travel platform in Thailand to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the TBAA. This closely follows the company’s recent partnership with the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Local Administration to upskill and onboard local homestays across all 76 provinces.

Mike Orgill, Airbnb Country Manager for Southeast Asia, and Suparerk Soorangura, President of TBAA and Advisor to the Thai Travel Agents Association, jointly launched the partnership.

With Thailand as one of the world’s top global destinations, this partnership will provide travellers with easy access to more than 50 boutique hotels across 15 provinces such as Bangkok, Chantaburi, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phuket, Prachuab Kiri Khan, Ratchaburi and Sukhothai, all providing authentic Thai hospitality.

In today’s MoU, both parties agree to:

  • Conduct training workshops for TBAA members to equip them with Airbnb platform know-how, and the digital skills to create, manage and promote their own listings
  • Empower Thai boutique hospitality entrepreneurs with global hospitality standards
  • Amplify Thailand’s unique boutique hotels and creative design on a global stage
  • Revitalise local neighbourhoods by driving tourist footfall outside of traditional tourist districts

During the launch, Airbnb and the TBAA also announced the inaugural Airbnb x TBAA Thailand Neighbourhood Guide. The 17-page insider’s guide spotlights five under-the-radar neighbourhoods in Thailand, each with its distinct blend of traditional heritage and new creative spaces.

In the past year alone, Airbnb’s host community in Thailand has welcomed close to 1.7 million guests into their homes, creating a combined 4 billion baht (US$119 million) in income for local Thais. Earlier this September, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha highlighted Airbnb’s recent partnership with the Department of Local Administration during his weekly national broadcast. In his statement on the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy to Sustainable Development Goals, he shared how Airbnb is promoting local homestays and distribute wealth across rural provinces.
Quotes

“Thailand is one of Airbnb’s largest markets in Southeast Asia, and our partnership with the TBAA marks a significant step forward for our business and community here. Boutique hotels play an increasingly key role in driving the tourism ecosystem through their authentic host-led hospitality and distinctive local design.” – Mike Orgill, Airbnb Country Manager for Southeast Asia

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Krabi

Official travel warnings about Phuket issued by the Chinese Embassy

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Official travel warnings about Phuket issued by the Chinese Embassy | The Thaiger

“The embassy reminds Chinese tourists to follow the rules while in Thailand stay out of the water when authorities put red flags on beaches, indicating the marine situation is dangerous.”

The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok is telling travellers to take particular care in Thailand’s southern resort provinces of Phuket, Phang-Nga and Krabi.

The embassy has issued an official safety warning to tourists travelling to Thailand during October’s “Golden Week” holiday following six drowning incidents involving Chinese citizens in August.

The warning says that sea activities pose the highest safety risks for tourists, urging visitors to take particular care when visiting the three popular destinations.

“The weather can still be changeable, sea winds strong and the water conditions complex.”

About 7 million Chinese will travel during Golden Week, up from more than 6 million during the same period last year, according to Chinese travel website Ctrip.

For the first time, according to Ctrip, bookings show that Japan is surpassing Thailand in popularity as a destination for the October holiday. More than 5.9 million Chinese visited Thailand in the first half of the year, according to figures from travel company Ctrip.

The SCMP reports that Thailand has been in the top three overseas destinations for China’s outbound tourists for a long time, behind Hong Kong and Macau.

But Chinese tourists’ love of Thailand has been rocked by the Phuket boat tragedy, but airports are working hard to win them back. In August several international entry airports opened dedicated lanes for Chinese tourists in five airports across the country, staffing each one with Mandarin-speaking officials.

But there’s no doubt that the growth of mainland Chinese tourism to Thailand has been undermined following the deaths of 47 Chinese tourists when their tour boat, the ‘Phoenix’, sank after it was hit by unseasonably high waves in early July.

According to another China travel agency, Lvmama.com, which did not provide more details, many mainlanders had adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude about travelling to Thailand following that, and other, incidents.

The warning notice from the Chinese embassy reminds travellers that waves can reach more than two metres during monsoon season, from May to October, and that swimming and sea trips are not appropriate.

SOURCE: South China Morning Post

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