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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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Bangkok

Chinese charged over test-taking scam

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Chinese charged over test-taking scam | The Thaiger

by Khanathit Srihirundaj

A scam of a different kind has been uncovered today. In this case no one was being harmed but the system was being cheated.

The Nation reports that Thai police have arrested seven Chinese who were allegedly hired to take ACT (American College Testing) exams on behalf of other test-takers who wanted good results in order to apply to study in the United States.

The first batch of five suspects – Chinese nationals between the ages of 29 and 33 – were arrested on Friday afternoon at the ACT examination site at Mahidol University’s Salaya Campus in Nakhon Pathom.

The five suspects reportedly confessed to police that they had been hired to take the ACT exams on behalf of the real applicants for between 10,000 and 20,000 yuan (about 47,500-95,000 baht) per person.

They said a China-based agency had helped coordinate with the customers and arranged for their accommodation, travel expenses and fake passports – containing the real applicants’ details, but with the suspects’ photos – to undertake the task.

They were to get good results in the exam, discard the fake passports and travel back to their home countries, police quoted them as saying.

The second batch of two suspects – Chinese nationals 28 year old He Liu and 39 year old Huang Xiofan were arrested on Saturday at the ACT examination site at NIST International School in Bangkok’s Watthana district.

Police also found that Liu was carrying eight fake passports, and he reportedly confessed to having previously taken exams for hire in various countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The seven suspects, whose Thai visas have been revoked, were all charged with using forged passports, while Liu faces the additional charge of having fake passports in his possession for the purpose of selling them, Surachate said.

Chinese charged over test-taking scam | News by The Thaiger Chinese charged over test-taking scam | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Thai Life

New WHO world road death report – Thailand drops to number 8 but still high

The Thaiger

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New WHO world road death report – Thailand drops to number 8 but still high | The Thaiger

Thailand’s roads remain some of the deadliest in the world. But the Kingdom has dropped from its previous number two position to number eight, behind a collection of backwater African states and other undeveloped countries.

A new report by the World Health Organisation shows that the road safety situation in Thailand hasn’t improved. The shocking news is outlined in a the WHO report, Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018,

The report indicates the death rate per 100,000 population in Thailand was 32.7. This ranks Thai roads as at least the deadliest in ASEAN and amongst the deadliest in the world.

Only seven other nations fared worse than Thailand, while the countries with the highest road traffic death rate per 100,000 population were Liberia, Saint Lucia, Burundi and Chad.

The report, compiled using data from 2016 from 175 countries, shows that Europe has the safest roads with 9.3 deaths per 100,000 population. The African continent had the worst rates.

The report shows that there is an average of 22,491 people killed on Thai roads every year. South east Asia, where motorcycle-related deaths account for 43 percent of the total road toll, had an average of 20.7 deaths per 100,000 population.

Globally, the report found that the situation regarding road traffic deaths is worsening, with someone killed in a road accident every 24 seconds somewhere in the world.

The WHO road death Hall of Shame…

1. Liberia – 35.9 (per 100,000 people)

2. Saint Lucia – 35.4

Equal 3. Burundi and Zimbabwe – 34.7

Equal 4. Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) – 33.7

5. Central African Republic – 33.6

6. Thailand – 32.7

7. Burkina Faso – 30.5

8. Namibia – 30.4

9. Cameroon – 30.1

10. Mozambique – 30.1

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Phuket

Thanyapura hosts Phuket’s biggest cycling event

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thanyapura hosts Phuket’s biggest cycling event | The Thaiger

The fourth annual Classic Cycling Race took place at Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort on Sunday, 9 December 2018. The event is the biggest cycling race in Phuket with over 250 cycling professionals and enthusiasts arriving to test themselves on the challenging route mapped out by the resort.

Cyclists had a choice of 2 distances: 45 km and 106 km. Both routes offered the cyclists a truly stunning view to compliment their race. Phuket’s tropical jungle, protected national parks, diverse mountainous terrain and dramatic oceanscape were all enjoyed as the racers tackled the route.

All participants were given a race kit and event t-shirt, and 100 lucky racers also received a limited edition cycling jersey. Trophies and cash prizes of 3,000 baht for the 106 km route first place winner, 2,000 baht for the 106 km second place winner, and 1,000 baht for the 106 km third place winner, were awarded. There were also a number of Thanyapura vouchers and lucky draw items up for grabs.

“As a triathlon coach, I believe in practice and consistency. It’s motivating to see the speed at which we can progress, and how it is directly related to the amount of time we spend in the saddle. For me, building muscle memory and endurance would be the key first steps to success.”

“We enjoyed seeing so many cyclists taking part at our annual Classic Cycling today, and we look forward to welcoming all the racers back to Thanyapura again next year,” said Ekkarat Phantip (Ricky), Head Triathlon Coach at Thanyapura.

This year’s 106 km route was dominated by Lucy Richardson for the women and Witthawat Waree for the men, who each took first place. Second place was taken by Nopjakorn Wanthong for the women and Samuel Lord for the men, and Daniel Amby for the men came in third.

The 45km route was won by Nichaphat Chansuk for the women and Dollawat Luansawai for the men. It saw Krittiporn Roumjai for the women and Thapakorn Mekhmanee for the men taking second place, and Kirawan Pussayapaibun for the women and Hem Ongsara for the men coming in third.

“As Asia’s premiere sports & health complex, we are very proud to once again organise the Thanyapura Classic Cycling, and enjoy seeing more and more people take part year after year. Cycling is a big part of Thailand’s sport culture, and is linked to many health benefits,” said Thibault Gonnet, Thanyapura’s Director of Operations.

“It is great to see a steady increase in the sport’s popularity. It is our mission to continue to support and organise events like this to motivate all generations to live a healthy and active lifestyle, filled with the fun of sports and play.”

Thanyapura hosts Phuket’s biggest cycling event | News by The Thaiger Thanyapura hosts Phuket’s biggest cycling event | News by The Thaiger Thanyapura hosts Phuket’s biggest cycling event | News by The Thaiger

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