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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

Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Rawai Rescue workers / Phuket Tourist Police

The Phuket Tourist Police have been notified that a tourist had jumped from a building in Rawai and ended up on a steel awning covering the bottom floor today. But that wasn’t, in fact, what had happened.

The local Tourist Police say the owner of the building told staff at the Tourist Assistance Centre that the tourist had checked into the room on February 13.

The tourist didn’t actually jump down from the building but had moved a mattress from his room on to the awning and slept on it (mosquitos!!) He was also drunk and damaged some property inside the room.

The man is a 37 year old Estonian tourist. He was staying at the room with a 25 year old male friend.

Chalong Police have charged them both with being drunk and damaging property. They have said that they will pay for all damages to the owner of the property. They are heading back home on February 26.

Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The ThaigerPhuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Thai exports fall 5.7 percent in January, year-on-year

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thai exports fall 5.7 percent in January, year-on-year | The Thaiger

Thai export results have dipped for the third straight month, falling more than 5.65% compared to a year earlier. The fall was a lot bigger than expected, according to the Thai commerce ministry.

Shipments contracted 1.72% in December, compared to a year earlier as well.

January’s export drop was due to falling shipments of rice, gold, electronics and cars, according to the ministry. Digging into the numbers, exports to the US rose 8.3% in the first month of the year, compared to January 2018, but exports to China slumped 16.7%.

The strong Thai baht, Asia’s best performing currency this year, has increasingly hit exports, particularly rice orders.

Checking imports for the same period, and the numbers jumped surprisingly 13.99% year on year, after sliding 8.15% in December 2018. Analysts say the surge in imports was partly due to imports of arms and military weapons.

There was a trade deficit of $4.03 billion in January, compared with a forecast surplus of $320 million surplus. December 2018 had a $1.06 billion surplus.

But the ministry says they are still forecasting export growth of 8% for 2019 after a 6.7% increase last year.

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Chiang Mai

American backpacker refuses to pay for girl he brought back to hostel, punches staff

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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American backpacker refuses to pay for girl he brought back to hostel, punches staff | The Thaiger

An American backpacker tourist, visiting Chiang Mai, had to be restrained after getting into a squabble with hostel staff after being asked to leave the premises.

The video of the altercation was shared on Reddit by ‘EatPrayFart’.

Following a night out, the backpacker brought a girl back to the mixed dorm room that he shared with nine other people. The report alleges the two had sex and were making a lot of noise.

The following morning the man was asked to leave the premises for breaking hostel rules. The staff also demanded he pay 200 baht for allowing the girl to stay in the dorm with him.

The man refused to pay and a fight followed, caught on camera, in the reception of the hostel.

In the footage the American man can be seen punching a member of the hostel staff before being restrained by another man. Some comments in the original post say that the man was also asked to leave by some of the other people staying in the dorm.

The report suggests the man was later taken into custody by Chiang Mai police.

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