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

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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

Woman stages an accident and lies to police about gold theft

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Woman stages an accident and lies to police about gold theft | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Newshawk Phuket

A woman has confessed to lying to police about two thieves that snatched her gold necklace and bracelet on Sakdidet Road in Wichit.

On Tuesday, ‘Newshawk Phuket’ reported that two thieves snatched the gold necklace and bracelet weighing around 30g of gold, worth 40,000 baht, on Sakdidet Road in Wichit.

Patrol police arrived at the scene to assist the woman and investigate her claims.

Yesterday, Phuket City Police say that the woman, 25 year old Rattana Kraiwan from Songkhla, had been taken to the Phuket City Police Station for questioning.

Rattana hadn’t filed an official report to police and she eventually admitted to police that she made the story up.

Police say she’s admitted to staging the fall off her motorbike into a ditch nearby and pawning off the two gold items, which belonged to her husband, to pay for her personal debts. She said she was afraid that her husband would be angry so she made the story up.

Rattana has promised to police that she will not do things like this again. It is unclear if police pressed any charges or just closed the case with a warning.

Woman stages an accident and lies to police about gold theft | News by The Thaiger Woman stages an accident and lies to police about gold theft | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

No more coups, unless we need one – Commander in Chief

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No more coups, unless we need one – Commander in Chief | The Thaiger

With the country heading for elections in February, or sometime soon in 2019, the hope is for a new, democratically elected government following four and a half years of military rule. But would the army rule out another coup?

Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong has refused to rule out the possibility of another coup if the country is plunged into chaos again.

Speaking to Thai PBS, Gen Apirat said… “My hope is that politics will not bring the country into conflicts again. If politics doesn’t cause chaos, then nothing will happen.”

Military coups have gone hand-in-hand with the rough and tumble of Thai politics for almost 80 years since the country stumbled into democratic parliamentary rule in 1932 in a bloodless coup.

Speaking to the media for the first time since taking office, Gen Apirat says that, while Thailand had had more than 10 military coups, the last few ones were triggered by politics.

“Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who was then army chief in 2014,  had no choice but to intervene. Just imagine what would have happened, had Gen Prayut did not do what he did.”

Gen Apirat also voiced full support of the army for the National Council for Peace and Order.

“The army and NCPO are one and the same.”

But the General stressed the army is ready to lend support to any government that comes to power.  By his position, Gen Apirat also currently serves as the secretary of NCPO.

The new army chief said he is hopeful that the country will not have to endure more any violent political conflicts.

“We have seen what conflicts have done to the country. Let them serve as a reminder ,” he said.

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Thailand

Thaiger Radio News – Thursday

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Thaiger Radio News – Thursday | The Thaiger

Listen to the daily news from The Thaiger, anytime, anywhere…

 

 

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