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MediaWATCH: Thailand Tourism's Perfect Storm

MediaWATCH: Thailand Tourism's Perfect Storm

Friday, May 15, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A new daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

Today's Must Read Thailand's hoteliers have their own special problems. ''In December, the yellow shirts shot themselves in the foot, and then last month, the red shirts shot themselves in the head,'' soon-to-retire Kurt Wachtveitl said at an event marking his 42 years as general manager of the famed Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. ''There is simply no one coming anymore - or nobody with money,'' Wachtveitl said. ''It's the perfect storm, particularly for Thailand.'' Andrew Langdon of Jones Lang LaSalle (Thailand) said: ''Basically, the good times for the hotel industry are over for a year or two.''

Bangkok Post: The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has informed the Election Commission of its intention to register as a political party. EC secretary-general Suthiphon Thaveechaiygarn said the commission was verifying the party's statement of policies and its rules to ensure they abide by the law. Checks will include whether the name would cause confusion: names must not affect the country's stability or cause disunity.

The Nation: Forensic scientists led by Pornthip Rojanasunantand and the navy will today survey five spots in Sattahip Gulf off the Chon Buri coast where eight sunken containers said to be full of human skeletal remains are located. Fishermen have reportedly netted human skulls and skeletons. Speculation has intensified that the unclaimed containers may hold the bodies of people who went missing during bloody pro-democracy protests in 1992. The US and Europe led a chorus of condemnation after Burma's military regime jailed and charged pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi over a bizarre incident in which an American man swam across a lake to her property.The regime is accused of planning to put Ms Suu Kyi on trial on charges of violating the terms of her house arrest as a pretext for keeping the winner of the last free vote in Burma, 19 years ago, in detention ahead of elections next year.

Reuters: Consumer confidence in Thailand fell for a third month in April as Thais were concerned about political unrest, high living costs and the collapse in exports caused by the global crisis, a survey shows. The index fell to an 88-month low of 65.1 in April from 66.0 in March and the trend is set to continue in coming months, according to the University of the Chamber of Commerce, which carries out the survey. A reading below 100 indicates consumers see the situation as bad or getting worse. More than 9000 people have signed an online petition (, calling on Singapore to stop the importation of a whale shark. A Facebook application invites participants to bet on how long a whale shark can survive in a casino and offers the winner a replica fish in a glass case as a memento. Resorts World of Sentosa features a casino and marine theme park and is due to open in less than a year. The Asian property investment market suffered an 83 per cent fall in sales in the first quarter of 2009 with Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong suffering the biggest falls in sales volume, according to CB Richard Ellis. Preliminary data shows that Asia's industrial property sector underwent the largest drop by market segment, plummeting 95 per cent from the same quarter a year earlier. A group of academics from six Thai universities are petitioning the country's newspapers to ''choose restraint over grisly voyeurism.'' Few days pass without a corpse, face-down and blood-soaked, appearing on Thai newspapers' front pages. Yubol Benjarongkij, dean of the communication arts department at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University said: ''The [publishers] think these pictures make big sales. It's hard to change that belief.'' Authorities in India's Andaman Island have begun deporting Rohingya boatpeople, stranded from December, to Bangladesh. An immigration officer said they have deported 49 Rohingya boat people to Bangladesh since February but said the rest of the 364 people who arrived remain. Some of the boat people claim to have been pushed back to sea by Thai authorities. Thailand's Ministry of Public Health has measures to ensure that the Youth World Weightlifting Championship in Chiang Mai will be free of the H1N1 virus, according to Department of Disease Control director-general Dr Somchai Chakrabhand. Seventy participants and staff from Mexico and four other at-risk countries are expected to attend from May 19-24 along with 1000 athletes and staff from 59 countries.

Bangkok Post: An outbreak of Chikungunya virus, spread by mosquitoes, has struck the South with over 15,000 people infected but no fatalities. The department has asked local health offices to intensify surveillance, particularly in Songkhla, Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, Trang and Phatthalung, where the most people have been admitted to hospital.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Phuket Plays Host to Regional Security Summit
Latest: While the Asean Plus Six Summit has slipped from Phuket's grasp for the second time, 27 countries are coming to the island for an important security summit.
Phuket Plays Host to Regional Security Summit

Phuket Air Crash: 'Report Three Months Off'
Latest An inquest in Britain is still awaiting the official report of the One Two Go crash that took place on Phuket in 2007, a newspaper says. A British MP is seeking speed and answers.
Phuket Air Crash: 'Report Three Months Off'

Australia's Virgin Aims for Phuket Adventures
Latest With Jetstar already bringing large numbers of Aussie visitors, another Down Under airline, Virgin Blue, is eyeing the island. And there's encouraging news for VIP visitors, too.
Australia's Virgin Aims for Phuket Adventures

German Tourist Held Over Beach Death of Friend
Latest A kiss sparked a fight that led to the late night death of a German tourist at the hands of his friend, police in Khao Lak say. The friend told officers he was too drunk to remember.
German Tourist Held Over Beach Death of Friend

Recent Phuketwan MediaWATCH

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Latest Phuket security debate: Can each country bring its own gunslingers?; Air fares cheapest in a decade; Thailand tourism plunges by 50 percent; swine flu confirmed in Thailand.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


The article on the whale shark for capture is repulsive. There is already a whale shark in captivity in Dubai for the rich and wealthy to see without getting their soiled feet wet. Me thinks, Money and sense make very strange bedfellows.

Posted by Graham on May 16, 2009 09:44


Please Graham explain the difference between "rich" and "wealthy". English is not my Mother tongue and I would like to learn from you. By th way are places where animals are kept in captivity not called "zoos" or "aquaria"? What is your criticism of these places for people to see animals? You appear to be an envious of those with money.

Posted by Hans de Loily on May 16, 2009 15:47


Hans, rich is being worth more than seven figures of cash in your own personal capacity ( Millionaire ), wealthy is having more than eight or nine figures in cash in your personal capacity, ( Multi Millionaire ). I am not envious of the rich and wealthy, those that know me will agree.

For more information and not a mud slinging match please see the web page at

Posted by Graham on May 16, 2009 17:11


Another tourist death, Phuket 57 yo German man , extreme vomiting , Gazette has it covered, why doesn't Phuket Wan? Six unexplained deaths since April 1 , 3 deaths, 2 recovered illness involving vomiting.

1) -April 1st; Also on Phi Phi, BUT NOT as has been reported, at the same guest house as the two later deaths , ( Phi- Phi is a tiny island off Krabi region.) Norwegian man Eric Liuhagnen , 48 . The cause has yet to be determined but reported extreme diarrhea.( Different symptom from later deaths. )

-May 1st; An un- ID'd male foreigner body found in the ocean 3 miles off Phi-Phi, in Krabi Province .
( Has tattoo of, "Mother" within heart,was wearing green pants. ) Cause of death; unknown,

- May 2nd and 3rd; Phi-Phi. Two deaths, females Jill St. Onge, 27 and Julie Michelle Bergheim, 23, extreme vomiting, died in hospital . Two illnessses- recovered, male Ryan Kells, 26 and female Karina Refsth, 20. All report extreme vomiting.

- May 6; A Swiss female, Edis Jungen, 40 was found deceased on the beach in Krabi , apparently strangled with a strap. She has been agitated and claimed she was in danger before checking out of hotel, found next morning in shallow water early Thursday by a villager in Ao Nang bay in Krabi province.
"There are no major cuts on her body, but a few bruises on her face. We have sent her body for an autopsy," case officer Lieutenant-Colonel Wittaya Meklai told AFP by telephone.

6) May 14 Phuket; German man , Ernst Hermannweid, extreme vomiting.
Died en route to hospital.

Editor: To spark particular public alarm by connecting the dots between these deaths is mischievous. It's regrettable that people die on holidays, just as it's regrettable that people die at home. There was an attempt earlier this year to incite widespread alarm because two Europeans happened to be murdered within days of each other. This is the same kind of illogical nonsense.

Posted by Media Watches on May 17, 2009 09:32

Wednesday October 27, 2021
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