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Perspective: West coast hoteliers give some insight into low season hotel traffic – Phuket

The Thaiger

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Perspective: West coast hoteliers give some insight into low season hotel traffic – Phuket | The Thaiger

by property.thethaiger.com

Speaking to a number of west-coast hoteliers on the island The Thaiger heard a few ‘truths’ about Phuket’s surging tourism industry, from the front line and not from the Associations which are forever pitching extravagant occupancy rates, spinning the numbers.

The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) can sometimes be accused of painting a ‘too rosy’ picture of what’s happening in the tourism industry as well. Then again, that’s their job, to attract more tourists to the Kingdom. On a straight numbers basis, the TAT have been doing a great job.

But behind the wai from reception staff and the overly-sweet ‘arrival drink’, there are a few facts that have emerged over the past few months – mostly pertaining to Phuket’s west coast.

For decades there was a distinct high and low season pattern with (you won’t be surprised) the high season being very busy and low season deathly quiet. That’s changed radically in the past ten years but a new truism has emerged – based on anecdotal evidence but now backed up now with statistics – May is the worst month of the year for the hospitality industry in Phuket.

Perspective: West coast hoteliers give some insight into low season hotel traffic - Phuket | News by The Thaiger

We asked some of the island’s leading hoteliers, none of which wanted to be identified, to comment about why May has emerged as the quieter month of the year.

“This year’s May was down, as usual, but not as bad as we had predicted for 2018. The high season lasted a bit longer this year than last. Whilst the Russians are back in high numbers, perhaps not as high as we’d projected. The Chinese market is always reliably busy just about all months of the year.”

Another noted that the May drop is becoming an important time for hotels to squeeze in some maintenance.

“As much of the year sees generally high occupancy now, we’re grateful for a quiet month to program some maintenance. The three new years are over (January 1, Chinese New Year and Thai New Year), the Songkran crowds have dispersed and the monsoon kicks in. It’s a perfect time for some repainting and redecorating.”

Most of the hoteliers we spoke to said that June and July forward-bookings are currently below their predictions but August was already starting to fill up. What’s going on?

“It’s the World Cup. The Russians aren’t coming this June and July and plenty of others are either going to Russia or have decided to program a break watching the soccer instead of coming to Phuket.”

The middle of the year was always strong for the Australian market visiting Phuket, and has been for a number of decades.

“It’s winter in the southern Australian states and we usually get lots of Aussie booking during this time. But the baht is very high against the Australian dollar at the moment so Australians seem to be looking for better value, at least this year.”

Another spoke about the maturing of the Chinese market saying they’re seeing a different mix of Chinese tourists now.

“There’s no doubt we’re still getting plenty of the tour bus and zero-dollar crowds but there’s also a real rise in the FITs (Free Independent Travelers) coming now. They’re making their own bookings online, renting motorbikes, leaving the hotel for meals and booking their own tours. This is a positive sign for this second generation of Chinese tourist coming to the island.”

When I pushed them to comment on the numbers sprouted by the TAT they all confirmed that the numbers are true – it just gets busier every year and most of the better hotels are reporting high occupancy most of the year.

“But there’s been a lot of new hotels opening up as well and there’s more coming. So we’re all having to work smarter to get our slice of the tourist mix. And the mix keeps changing. So if you’re not reviewing your marketing strategies every month you’re not in the game.”

Perspective: West coast hoteliers give some insight into low season hotel traffic - Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Man found dead in pickup with charcoal burner in Rassada, Phuket

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Man found dead in pickup with charcoal burner in Rassada, Phuket | The Thaiger

A man has been found dead inside a pickup truck with a coal burner also inside the vehicle in Rassada this morning. Police were notified of the situation in Soi Muen Sri in Rassada.

Police and emergency responders arrived to find the man’s body in the parked pickup truck. The man was identified as 28 year old Weerawat Pakdeewirot from Phuket.

A coal burner was also found inside the vehicle. A suicide note addressed to his girlfriend was also found. The letter stated that he was facing financial problems. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Police says that Mr Weerawat is a CCTV camera and internet contractor. His home was only 50 metres from the scene. Yesterday locals noticed his pickup parked at the scene. Today they saw the pickup in the same location and went to check out the situation.

Police are continuing their investigation.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

Man found dead in pickup with charcoal burner in Rassada, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Man found dead in pickup with charcoal burner in Rassada, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Man found dead in pickup with charcoal burner in Rassada, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Man found dead in pickup with charcoal burner in Rassada, Phuket | News by The Thaiger Man found dead in pickup with charcoal burner in Rassada, Phuket | News by The Thaiger

 

 

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Phuket

Injured Brahminy Kite (bird) rescued in Karon

The Thaiger

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Injured Brahminy Kite (bird) rescued in Karon | The Thaiger

An injured Brahminy Kite has been rescued by locals in Karon, Phuket.

The mature Brahminy Kite was found in Karon this week. Locals who found the bird contacted the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom.

The Brahminy Kite had a wound similar to a bite wound under its wing. It was unable tp fly. It is now being treated at a pet hospital in Thalang until it is ready to be set free.

The Brahminy Kite is a protected species in Thailand.

The brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), also known as the red-backed sea-eagle in Australia, is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors, such as eagles, buzzards, and harriers. They are found in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Australia. They are found mainly on the coast and in inland wetlands, where they feed on dead fish and other prey. Adults have a reddish-brown body plumage contrasting with their white head and breast which make them easy to distinguish from other birds of prey – Wikipedia

Injured Brahminy Kite (bird) rescued in Karon | News by The Thaiger Injured Brahminy Kite (bird) rescued in Karon | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

Thai Cabinet extends waiver of Visa On Arrival fees

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai Cabinet extends waiver of Visa On Arrival fees | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Cabinet has extended the waiver of the fees for ‘visa on arrival’ for some foreign tourists to Thailand. The waiver of the 2,000 baht VOA fee will be extended to at least October 31.

The fee had previously been waived until January 14 this year in a bid to boost tourism. It was then extended until April 30 and has now been extended again. According to the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, waiving the VOA fee had helped support the increase of foreign visitor numbers.

Between November 15, 2018 to March 31, 2019, 3.58 million foreigners visited Thailand, an increase of 83% compared to the 1.6 million visitors during the same period in the previous year.

Meanwhile, waiving the VOA fee resulted in the government losing 2.95 billion baht in revenue but the extra tourists generated an estimated 105 billion baht in tourism revenue.

The Visa On Arrival waiver is available to tourists from 21 countries and regions, including China and India.

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