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From tropical paradise to busy urban island – Phuket

Bill Barnett

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From tropical paradise to busy urban island – Phuket | The Thaiger

By Bill Barnett

Phuket’s tourists, expats and property buyers are finding new reasons to head to the Pearl of the Andaman. They’re now spending more time and money seeking out alternative activities in areas other than the famed west-coast beaches.

A report says that the island is transforming into a more well-rounded destination as visitors and new residents takes advantage of the Thai island’s expanding air transport infrastructure.

A new report by hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks showed says that almost 200,000 square metres of of premium-grade leasable retail spaces are now in the Phuket pipeline offering travellers and expats experiences surpassing just the beach bars and pesky beach vendors.

Developers are also adding more serviced apartments to planned mixed-use projects as an attractive alternative for real estate buyers.

There are 36 new hotels in the pipeline with 27 of those 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 resident components, which will account for 28% of total incoming supply. These ‘resident components’ offer condo-style accommodation but as part of branded hotels with opportunities to rent out your investment, backed by international brands.

Bill Barnett, C9 Hotelworks managing director says that four retail complexes are under development in the island – extensions to Cherng Talay’s Boat Avenue and Central Festival Phuket among them – as demand for “non-beach activities” rises.

There’s also the opening of the world-class Blue Tree Waterpark and entertainment precinct, set for the start of 2019.

“Phuket is gradually transforming to a more urbanised holiday destination rather than a pure beach getaway. With the strong purchasing power of tourists, especially Chinese, Russians and Australians, more retail and tourism attractions are developing on the island.”

From tropical paradise to busy urban island - Phuket | News by The Thaiger

The report says that investment in the island’s old airport are reaping the benefits. A totally new international airport in 2016 and recently completed renovations of the old terminal into a domestic-only terminal has paid dividends. A total of 3.5 million passengers arrived in Phuket in the first four months of 2018, up 19 percent from the same period in 2017.

China remains the largest source market for Phuket, with flights from mainland China accounting for a 40 percent share of overseas passenger arrivals.

Airports of Thailand has announced a new international airport will be built over the Sarasin Bridge in Khoh Kloi Phang Nga with a tentative opening planned for 2025. Construction will begin in 2019 at a total cost of USD1.8 billion.

“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,” Barnett said.

Around 155 resort villas were sold in Phuket last year, the highest number of units sold in a year since 2015, according to CBRE Thailand.

Read more of the c9hotelworks.com report HERE.



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

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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Phuket

Immigration police interview Phuket’s ‘seasteader’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Immigration police interview Phuket’s ‘seasteader’ | The Thaiger

Immigration police says they’ve have questioned the American bitcoin investor who was involved in the setting up of the “seasteading” structure off the coast of Phuket and is facing criminal charges related to the waterborne homestead.

Chad Andrew Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Suprenee Thepdet (aka Nadia Summergirl), launched their seastead project on February 2 off the coast of Phuket along with the company ‘Ocean Builders’.

The structure is located to the south east of Koh Racha Yai, approximately 22 kilometres from the mainland. The Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime personnel boarded the structure last Sunday insisting it violates the law and poses a navigational hazard.

Elwartowski posted on his Facebook on Tuesday that he and his partner were in hiding and feared for their lives, as they were being hunted down by the authorities. He later deleted the post.

On Wednesday, Immigration police revoked his visa and put him on a blacklist following the legal suit.

Meanwhile the The US Embassy in Bangkok says they’re providing consular assistance to Mr Elwartowski who is  accused of violating Thailand’s sovereignty by building the structure off the coast of Phuket.

“The Embassy is providing all appropriate assistance and understands Elwartowski has engaged an attorney,” according to Robert Post, the US Embassy Public Affairs Officer.

Meanwhile, Phuket deputy governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai was preparing information to present to the embassy if it required a further explanation.

While Elwartowski has claimed that his waterborne homestead (seastead) is outside Thailand’s maritime boundaries, Thai authorities have insisted that its existence violated Article 119 of the Criminal Code because Thailand’s territorial rights were disturbed.

“The harm was done because they had sent an invitation seeking people to set up [additional] structures and so far 14 people [have shown an] interest to join,” he explained.

Immigration police interview Phuket's 'seasteader' | News by The Thaiger Immigration police interview Phuket's 'seasteader' | News by The Thaiger Immigration police interview Phuket's 'seasteader' | News by The Thaiger Immigration police interview Phuket's 'seasteader' | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

New Economics Party clarifies their support for pro-democracy coalition

The Thaiger & The Nation

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New Economics Party clarifies their support for pro-democracy coalition | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Mingkwan Sangsuwan, New Economics Party leader – The Nation

Leader of the New Economics Party Mingkwan Sangsuwan hasy reiterated his party’s intention to join with the pro-democracy coalition (Pheu Thai, Future Forward) and against the pro-junta party, Phalang Pracharat.

Amid uncertainty over which camp New Economics would work with after the election, Mingkwan has clarified he would not join with Phalang Pracharat because of “ideological differences”.

Six New Economics candidates were elected in the March 24 poll. Mingkwan gave assurances at today’s press conference that none of the new MPs would defect. The party’s deputy leader, Supadit Argadriks, also repeated the party’s intent to help uphold democracy with a constitutional monarchy, and live up to its pledge to voters.

Some of the party’s members yesterday petitioned the Election Commission to dissolve the party, alleging it had fallen under outside influences related to powerful business interests. But the deputy leader insisted today that the party was united. He said the complaint had stemmed from a misunderstanding.

Supadit said legal action would be taken against the plaintiffs who filed the petition with the EC.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Krabi

Man found with drugs at Krabi checkpoint

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Man found with drugs at Krabi checkpoint | The Thaiger

A man has been arrested with methamphetamine pills at a checkpoint in Krabi today. He was stopped at the checkpoint because his girlfriend wasn’t wearing a bike helmet.

The Krabi City Police arrested 22 year old Atsadawut Nuisuchon who was driving his motorbike past a checkpoint in Krabi city centre today. He was found with 20 methamphetamine pills.

Police stopped him as his girlfriend wasn’t wearing a safety helmet. Atsadawut fled the scene but left his motorbike and girlfriend behind.

Police followed him and arrested him within half an hour. He and his girlfriend were taken to Krabi City Police Station for further legal action.

Man found with drugs at Krabi checkpoint | News by The Thaiger Man found with drugs at Krabi checkpoint | News by The Thaiger

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