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The evolution of an island – Phuket’s rise and rise

Bill Barnett

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PHOTO: Banyan Tree Phuket

“Thailand’s great push forward on mega-transportation projects is seeing strong dividends being paid in its tourism industry. One key example is Phuket, where passenger arrivals grew by nearly 19% in the first four month of the year at the newly upgraded and expanded international airport.”

By Bill Barnett

Why Phuket? One only has to look at the upward trajectory of low-cost carriers (LCC’s) and supercharged airlift. Underpinning the remarkable growth story is the exponential rise of Mainland China, which registered a 50% year-on-year increase, followed closely by Russia at 47%.

By the end of 2018, a record high 9.7 million passenger arrivals are expected to pass through the airport.

Direct flights to Phuket this year as of May has witnessed 23 new routes introduced to the destination with 19 being from Mainland China according to Thailand-based consulting group C9 Hotelworks latest market research. Currently there are 33 cities in China that link to the destination, door to door.

A defined shift in geographic source markets over the past ten years has experienced rising demand for non-beach centric activities. With the strong purchasing power of tourists, especially Chinese, Russians and Australians, more retail and tourism attractions are developing on the island. The changing mix of visitors is reflected in the island’s hotel performance with leading hotel data benchmarking group STR reporting that in 2018 upper midscale hotels have shown the highest demand growth of 10% compared to the same period last year.

Phuket is gradually transforming to a more urbanised holiday destination rather than a pure beach getaway. Resort-oriented retail is a rising force, with our data showing nearly 200,000 square meters of Grade A net lettable area in the pipeline.

Another spin-off of the tourism numbers is a series of impressive upcoming themed tourism attractions including Vana Nava Water Park, Blue Tree Water and Entertainment Park and Aquaria at the new Central Festival mall extension. The powerful mix of retail and tourism is most evident in the island growth belt from Kathu to an ever-expanding Patong.

Looking at the hotel sector, presently Phuket has a total of 1,744 tourist accommodation establishments with 84,427 keys as of Q1 2018, which includes both registered and unregistered properties. There are 36 new hotels in pipeline with 27 properties affiliated with international hotel brands. In addition, with the intention to attract real estate buyers, 10 upcoming mixed-use properties will a have hotel residences component, which accounts for 28% of total incoming supply.

Summing up Phuket’s pathway to sustainable growth, the announcement that the AoT (Airports of Thailand) is set to invest an estimated USD1.8 billion in a second airport just over the Sarasin Bridge in Phang Nga bodes well for fundamentals. Creating a broader Greater Phuket Tourism Triangle that includes Phang Nga Bay and the prime West Coast beach strip from Natai to Thai Muang on the mainland will bring more diversity and refresh the island’s maturing global appeal.

Read the full report from C9 Hotelworks.com HERE.

- Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements and is continually gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai: New Zealander accused of masterminding murder of his Korean mother Chiang Mai

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Chiang Mai police have arrested a New Zealander for allegedly masterminding the murder of his Korean mother by setting it up as quarrel between his wife and his elderly mother.

50 year old Brian Lee was arrested and charged with masterminding the murder of 76 year old An Jung Ja at a house in the Mountain View village in Tambon San Phisua in Chiang Mai’s Muang district on Thursday. He was being detained at the Mae Ping police station.

Earlier, Lee claimed his mother had a quarrel with her daughter-in-law, Park Songhee, who then stabbed her to death out of anger. Lee said his mother became angry at the speed of Park’s response to being called, and so grabbed her daughter-in-law and slammed her head against the wall and injuring her, before Park then stabbed her.

But after checking forensic evidence and security-camera footage, police concluded that Lee had lied about the quarrel and took part in the killing of his mother. His wife was under police watch at Chiang Mai Hospital.

Police said Lee’s mother had several apartments and businesses in South Korea, and Lee had brought her to live with the couple in Chiang Mai six months ago.

STORY: The Nation

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Bangkok

Bangkok: Female’s head and body parts found in bags north-east of city

The Thaiger

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PHOTOS: Thai Rath

The mutilated body of a female has been found in the Soi Klong Samwa, in the north-eastern outer suburbs of Bangkok. Minburi police, forensic experts and members of the Por Teck Tung Foundation headed to the location where the body was found.

In a shoulder bag, wrapped in a black rubbish bin liner, was the head of a long haired woman.

Several metres away were two fertiliser sacks that police believe contains the torso and body parts of the victim. The body parts are believed to have been in the sack for three or four days. The location of the grisly find was about 1 kilometre down a small soi and was found after local residents smelt a bad odour.

Police are continuing their investigating.

Video and original story: Thai Rath

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News

Phuket: Two arrested in Rawai over illegal football gambling

The Thaiger

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Two Thai men have been arrested in Rawai after they were found to be illegally gambling on World Cup football matches.

Yesterday afternoon a team of officials from the Chalong Police arrested 55 year old Gosri ‘Boon’ Rueangrit and 30 year old Sriwawut Rueangrit at a house in Rawai.

Police seized four books of loan lists from Gosri, a bank book and football match prediction lists (dated  June 21). The items and the men were taken to Chalong Police Station for further questioning.

Gosri has since been charged with offences relating to the Excessive Interest Rate Prohibition Act and providing illegal football gambling.

Police seized a mobile phone from Sriwawut with a screenshot of the ‘lion888.net’ website including the username ‘la151199’ – a football prediction App with predictions and betting odds from June 17-22.

Sriwawut has been charged with illegal football gambling.

 

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