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On Deck: Dive ban to impact yachting

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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On Deck: Dive ban to impact yachting | The Thaiger

PHUKET: “Move to regulate diving industry” was a recent headline and front page story in the Phuket Gazette. At first glance I thought; ‘fair enough’, until I read further.

Following a spate of deaths and accidents, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) Phuket Office, headed by Santi Pawai, has taken it upon themselves to improve safety in the dive industry.

Improving safety is a good thing, but the upshot of this is to ban private diving. “It doesn’t matter how qualified you are or if you’re diving with a buddy; it’s necessary for your diving excursion to be linked to a recognized dive business,” said Mr Santi.

Yet again this is knee-jerk reaction from local officialdom is a hasty response with little or no thought and planning.

While there are injuries and deaths in diving, there are plenty more injuries and incidents (and deaths) from snorkeling, jet skiing, and even more when simply driving on Phuket’s roads. Roads, jet skis, and snorkeling, however, are not under the remit of Mr Santi, so let’s not go there. Diving, apparently, now is.

Banning private diving is unlikely to fix anything. The MOTS is assuming that all the injuries and deaths come from private diving, which they don’t. I would go as far as to say that private diving accounts for far less than half.

Perhaps paying attention to snorkeling trips, tour guides, and speedboat drivers and their safety competency would improve the safety in Phuket’s waters. In my opinion, resources spent on these issues would be spent wisely, whereas a blanket ban on private diving will have negligible effect on safety.

Where a private ban is likely to have a significant effect is the yacht charter industry.

Firstly, how can you realistically enforce this private diving ban? The MOTS in Phuket has a hard enough time controlling illegal Chinese guides, which I can find at any 7-11 on this island any evening of the week.

Back to yacht charter: if you missed it, the Royal Thai Government has been shouting a lot about a new 12-month superyacht charter license they have introduced, with the aim of attracting yachts over 30 meters to spend more time in Thailand, and charter their yachts while they are here. Good idea, good revenue for the industry and economy, but what if a charter guest wants to dive off the yacht? Or what if the owner flies in and wants to dive off his own superyacht?

Assuming the MOTS enforces its blanket private diving ban, then individuals on any yacht (owners or charter guests) simply cannot dive. Unless of course they go with an official diving company, which they are unlikely to do.

What’s next? Following the tragic death of a Russian crewman on a superyacht off the Similan Island recently, can we expect another knee-jerk reaction to safety? Let’s hope not.

Looking at the marine big picture, there is clearly a need to bring relevant stakeholders together. Jet Skis, speedboats, tour boats, yachts and yacht charters are the remit of the Phuket Marine Office. Diving, previously self-regulated and following the international PADI system on the whole, is now being claimed by the MOTS in Phuket. Perhaps a single authority for everything marine would make more sense?

Rather than making rash announcements and public statements, which as history has proven time and time again results in little action, how about officialdom consulting with the industry stakeholders.

There seems to be apathy by public officials towards the private sector yet the knowledge and experience in the private sector far outweighs that in the public sector, and if a more open-minded and inclusive approach to safety discussions and industry development can happen, I’m sure the improvements will be clear for everyone to see.

Thailand Marine Business Association anyone?

Duncan Worthington is a long time Phuket resident and through Infinity Communications (www.infinity-comms.com) consults to leading consumer brands, hospitality and marine clients in Thailand. In his ‘spare time’ he runs the marine portal www.MarineScene.asia. #OnDeckPhuket

— Duncan Worthington

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Bangkok

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb

The Thaiger

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Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | The Thaiger

Thailand is a hub of creativity; a country filled with artisanal culinary gems and art galleries that boasts creativity and innovation allowing cultural tradition to sit comfortably alongside the embrace of new ideas. Thailand never tires, and Bangkok remains popular, with Airbnb seeing an influx of guests during festivals and events such as Bangkok Design Week, which returns for its second year from January 26 – February 3.

The creative economy is thriving worldwide and in Thailand Airbnb have seen a clear synergy between the creative and sharing economies with recent Airbnb data showing there are 2,000 passionate Airbnb Hosts in Thailand who work in the creative industry.

Airbnb’s global digital platform helps creative entrepreneurs to support themselves, fund their passions and in many cases, showcase their creative work, in turn promoting local culture and authentic travel experiences to international and domestic travellers alike.

Held in the Bang Rak district of Bangkok – known for its creativity and centering around Charoen Kung Road, Bangkok’s oldest road – the second edition of Bangkok Design Week is held under the theme “Fusing Forward” and looks to build on its first year of success.
With almost 10,000 Airbnb travellers expected in Bangkok each day of design week, and almost a quarter of all creative Airbnb hosts in Thailand being based in Bangkok, we share some unique Homes across the city, ideal for those looking to enjoy Bangkok’s creative vibe.Between waking up from the comforts of a creatively designed home to attending hosted talks, travellers and locals alike are finding inspiration in this ever evolving golden city. Airbnb has also recently launched Airbnb Plus, which are a selection of homes intended for guests looking for one-of-a-kind, thoughtfully designed, beautiful homes with exceptional hosts.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger1) Anonymous Heritage Home

This rare and unique Thai house built at the turn of the 20th century, is made from golden teak wood and features antique objects, artworks, and high ceilings. Located in Silom area, the creative district is a short stroll away and the river boat for the old town and temples are minutes away.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

2) Bā hào

A renovated 40-year old shophouse in the vibrant China Town area of Bangkok, Bā hào offers  Thai-contemporary inspired accommodation on the third and fourth floors with a shared living space on the second and an eclectic Oriental-style bar on the first floor.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

3) Retro Chic Retreat

Minimalist and zen-like, this townhouse is located in the heart of the city yet offers a laid back feel away from the hustle. With five bedrooms, it’s ideal for a group looking to explore the city’s creative nooks and crannies.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

4) Design house near Chatuchak Market and Ari

This architect-designed house is in a lovely neighborhood with many local street foods nearby, and easy access to Bangkok’s most popular creative hotspot Chatuchak Market, tourist spots and shopping malls.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

5) J. No 14

This family-owned, antique design B&B is located between the old city and the new, and offers a truly unique accommodation experience located just 300m from the nearest BTS station and 600m from the nearest Chao Phraya River pier.

Airbnb is also supporting a new wave of creative entrepreneurs, where we see more creatives becoming Airbnb hosts. Meet local artists and spend the afternoon with them through Airbnb Experiences.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

6) Lai Rod Num: Thai crafts gold workshop

Lai Rod Num is an ancient Thai craft using gold leaf and black lacquer painting which is often used in the decoration of temples or palaces pillars, window and door panels, ceremonial bowls, jewelry boxes, and much more. You will learn more about the craft and in the workshop using an adapted modern technique have the chance to create your own craft piece which you can take home.

Experience the creative vibe during Bangkok Design Week with Airbnb | News by The Thaiger

7) 1970’s photo shooting with blogger

Blogger and photographer Tommy will show three completely different faces of Bangkok, in three different neighborhoods, highlighting Bangkok’s diversity and the most beautiful points of the city. Guests will experience classic Bangkok architecture as well as the ‘hipster’ side of Bangkok with its hidden graffiti, street art and how local people live, and amazing Bangkok views.

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Bangkok

Bangkok Airways celebrates the arrival of its 40th aircraft

The Thaiger

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Bangkok Airways celebrates the arrival of its 40th aircraft | The Thaiger

Bangkok Airways has welcome the latest Airbus A319 as the local airline’s 40th aircraft when it arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The event was led by Dechit Chareonwong, vice president of Flight Operations and joined by Nijjapat Piyapant, vice president of Ground Operations.

This aircraft type, the latest incarnation of the short-haul A320, consists of 144 economy class seats and will serve popular domestic and international routes such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, Samui, Krabi, Myanmar (Yangon, Mandalay), Cambodia (Siem Reap, Phnom Penh), India (Mumbai) and Vietnam (Danang).

The airline is adding Vietnaese city of Cam Ranh as a new route starting January 25.

Currently, Bangkok Airways’ fleet consists of 4 ATR 72-500s, 11 ATR 72-600s, 16 Airbus A319s and 9 Airbus A320s.

Bangkok Airways celebrates the arrival of its 40th aircraft | News by The Thaiger

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Entertainment

International Hip Hop sensation at Sugar Club Phuket

The Thaiger

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International Hip Hop sensation at Sugar Club Phuket | The Thaiger

Sugar Club Phuket is hyped to host the Thailand premier of US Hip Hop sensation Rae Sremmurd, live on Tuesday, January 22.

Ever since Rae Sremmurd exploded onto the scene with SremmLife bangers “No Flex Zone”, “Unlock the Swag” & “No Type”, Hip Hop parties just haven’t been the same. Brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi may be relative new-kids on the block, but they’ve already build massive success, notably since their Gucci Mane-featuring SremmLife 2 single “Black Beatles,” and the accompanying online Mannequin Challenge rocketed them onto the international circuit.

More recently, their viral fanbase was gifted a fist-full of freshness when the trio of LPs on SR3MM arrived last year. A stand-out album with guest features from the likes of The Weeknd, Travis Scott and Future was always expected. But the inclusion of a strong pair of solo albums from Swae (the smooth ride of ‘Swaecation’) and Jxmmi (the trappier ‘Jxmtro’ with a stunning rap from Zoë Kravitz) proved the duo’s star quality beyond question.

To quote Swae Lee: “We gonna be in one of the Hall of Fames; it doesn’t matter if it’s the hip-hop, the opera, or whatever, we’re going down in history for something. There’s gonna be statues of us. We gonna go hard while we’re here. We’re going to make classic, timeless music and make a mark on these motherfuckers.”

Witness the rise of a legend at Rae Sremmurd’s first show ever in Thailand, only at Sugar Club Phuket – live on Tuesday, January 22.

Facebook Event​ HERE

Email​: ​[email protected]

Phone​: +66 98 889 8590

International Hip Hop sensation at Sugar Club Phuket | News by The Thaiger International Hip Hop sensation at Sugar Club Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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