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Bangkok Floods Retreat: Phuket Hits the Beach

Bangkok Floods Retreat: Phuket Hits the Beach

Monday, November 14, 2011
PHUKET: The worst of the flooding around Bangkok appears to be over, the international media agreed for the first time today, with Thai tourism battered yet unbowed - and Phuket basking in a boom.

''Refugees'' evacuating the waterlogged, sandbagged capital have boosted numbers on Phuket, booking out a lot of rental accommodation properties and spending up at Phuket restaurants and stores.

''Phuket is busy, with a capital B,'' said Debbie Dionysius, the Assistant Vice President for Destination Marketing at the seven-resort Laguna Phuket enclave. ''Shopping centres are choc-a-bloc.

''We wouldn't gloat about it, but several meetings have transferred from Bangkok to Laguna Phuket because of the floods.''

The two triathlons to be held at Laguna Phuket within the next few weeks have attracted record numbers of entries, she said.

Other Phuket resorts also report at the most, just a few cancellations by people who had planned to spend time in Bangkok.

The Director of Phuket International Airport, Wing Commander Prathuang Somkhom, said today that record numbers of visitors are still arriving by air.

''Figures are already up 12 percent on last November, and domestic travel is staying almost as strong as international flights,'' he said.

Larry Cunningham, who manages the Chava Resort at Surin, on Phuket's west coast, added: ''One of my staff has just flown back direct from Chiang Mai. She said the flight was packed, and 90 percent of the travellers were expats.''

An international news agency, DPA, put it this way: ''Business appears to be booming on the Thai tourist destination of Phuket Island, 700 kilometres south of the floods currently plaguing Bangkok. The beaches are full, the restaurants and bars are packed and the sun is shining.''

With no threat to Bangkok's big Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where flights continue to operate normally, and with central Bangkok still dry, the worst may be over.

Latest reports today from CNN and Reuters are decidedly upbeat.

While the national dailies continue to report the struggle in and around the city to divert the liquid bulge that still threatens to inundate some parts of outer Bangkok, especially north of the flooded second airport, Don Muang, there has not been a day for weeks when onlookers were so positive.

Hardship continues for those whose homes have been at the heart of the flow. And 562 people had died since late July, with 22 of Thailand's 77 provinces still affected.

Ahead lies month after month of difficult social and economic recovery, and possible recriminations. But for the first time today, Thailand appeared to have its head above water.

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I don't know where where you have find out that Phuket is full because on Chalong-Rawai area, many bars are offering free food with 2 coupons for 2 free drinks.
Most of bars are nearly empty between Chalong circle and the pier.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on November 14, 2011 19:13

Editor Comment:

Bangkok refugees and families are not likely to visit the bars. Are those bars ever full? Surely there are too many of them? With the ''Phuket beer drought,'' what would people do there anyway?


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