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Lifeguard training at Le Meridien: now available to other resort participants

MediaWATCH: Fraud Sparks Agents' War; BA Link in Hotel Death; Aussies Thrashed 4-0

Monday, June 14, 2010
Phuketwan MediaWATCH, with World Cup Watch

World Cup Scores: ALG 0:1 SVN SRB 0:1 GHA GER 4:0 AUS
Coming Next: 6.30pm Netherlands v Denmark 9pm Japan v Cameroon 1.30am Italy v Paraguay Travel agents have joined airlines in hammering the International Air Transportation's global payment system in the wake of 550-million-baht fraud involving the industry body's Bangkok office. The International Air Ticket Agency Association, which represents about one third of the 300 agents in Thailand, asked IATA to stop threatening to remove them from the system that allows them to sell tickets. The ITA, whose members accounted for 60-65 percent of the 30 billion baht in ticket sales channeled through Iata's billing and settlement plan last year, has also called on Iata to stop blaming agents for the fraud. A curious case of fraud, unexplained death and millions of missing dollars created a divisive backdrop to the annual general meeting of the world's leading airline trade body in Berlin. A number of airlines are considering legal action against Iata, after it said they must pay for $15m swindled from a global payments system it oversees that collects billions of dollars from travel agents on behalf of airlines each year. Thai Airways, one of the worst affected airlines with a bill of $5m, was scheduled to discuss the matter with Iata's head, Giovanni Bisignani. "Hotels in prime destinations like Phuket are doing fine," said CIMB Thai Bank senior executive vice president Surachai Chitratsenee, chief of the SME Banking Group. Two British Airways cabin crew members could face legal action following the death of a porter after a late-night fire in a hotel room in Bangkok. A 29-year-old night porter, Boonyarit Phoomthong, who went to the aid of the British Airways staff members, died of smoke inhalation after the blaze in the hotel room. Police claim the fire was started by a lighted candle set on top of the television in the room at the Amari Atrium Hotel in the Thai capital. The two crew, named as Paul Younger, 42, and Lesley Ann Smith, in her thirties, were also treated for smoke inhalation but have since recovered and returned to Britain. The pilot of a no-frills Australian airline is being investigated over claims he was texting on his mobile phone during landing. The aircraft was forced to pull up and perform a ''go-around'' after warning systems were triggered. Air safety investigators are looking into the incident, on a Jetstar flight from Darwin to Singapore. Many tour operators providing cross-border tours in the north of Thailand and southern China have closed their operations and laid off staff after recent political unrest saw a drop in tourist numbers. Tour operators in southern China's Yunnan province, where Thai tourist arrivals accounted for 200,000 - 45 percent of foreign visitors last year - complain that few Thais are now visiting. A Taiwanese man was arrested for allegedly being member of a gang to lure Chinese people to wire them money. Acting on a tip-off, tourist police arrested Lieo Min Ching, 43, while was drawing money from an ATM machine on Soi Sukhumvit 7. Police found 53 ATM cards with him. Police searched his room at the World Inn Hotel and found 61 more ATM cards.

Associated Press Indonesians grappled with their first-ever celebrity sex-tape scandal, casting aside social taboos as they swarmed around office computers and mobile phones to watch clips allegedly showing a much-loved pop star with two girlfriends. The story topped newscasts for a week and dominated chatter on social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But just as controversial was the reaction of officials in the newly democratic nation. Police initially threatened to charge the "stars" under a strict anti-pornography law. The recent arrest of 11 members of an alleged Colombian robbery gang marked a promising start for a new police agency charged with cracking down on transnational criminals in Thailand. The Transnational Crime Arrest Warrant Information Centre officially opened on May 9. The targets of most arrest warrants are Asian (1012 people), followed by Europeans (377), Africans (94), North Americans (91), South Americans (50), Australians (31), and people of unknown nationality (212).

Associated Press The June 19 wedding in Stockholm Cathedral between Crown Princess Victoria and her personal trainer Daniel Westling has triggered debate about why an otherwise egalitarian country like Sweden retains such an archaic and expensive institution. As in neighboring monarchies Norway and Denmark, the Swedish royals' responsibilities are purely ceremonial, but they still enjoy privileged lives compared with ordinary people, a disparity that has become increasingly evident during preparations for the wedding.

afp Malaysia is considering shutting down a controversial British-funded animal testing lab if there is evidence of cruelty there, the government's top veterinary official said on Sunday. Animal rights campaigners have accused the Progenix Research lab, which uses monkeys, dogs, rodents and rabbits for toxicology testing, of poisoning the animals to death. Growing numbers of girls are reaching puberty before the age of 10, raising fears of increased sexual activity among a new generation of children. Scientists believe the phenomenon could be linked to obesity or exposure to chemicals in the food chain, and is putting girls at greater long-term risk of breast cancer. A study has revealed that breast development in a sample of 1,000 girls started at an average age of 9 years and 10 months - an entire year earlier than when a similar cohort was examined in 1991. Since the companys establishment in 1994, Banyan Tree Phuket has been serving as the flagship resort. It has grown to over 20 resorts and has almost 40 properties in the pipeline for opening by 2013. K P Ho noted that his spa and resort is not only focused on the Asian region, stressing that North America ''presents new opportunities.'' Europe is also on his development map. Obituary: Going to a restaurant with Egon Ronay felt like visiting a church with the Pope. He was the high priest of eating out and for decades the great chefs would revere him and most of the epicures in Britain were his disciples. He could be blunt in his assessments but, like a gastronomic Simon Cowell, even his most acerbic judgements were simply honest, and usually right.

Phuketwan World Cup Watch Former Thailand national coaches Arj-harn Song-ngarmsup and Vittaya Laohakul both believe that the Dutch will beat the Danes in today's World Cup action. Arj-harn, who is currently head coach of Phuket FC, believes the Dutch will win 2-0. ''The Dutch have strong and skilful players like Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Dirk Kuyt as strikers and in the midfield, they have Rafael van der Vaart, Mark van Bommel,'' he said. The Socceroos, or at least those players we have come to identify as our national team, have passed their use-by date. On the evidence of this excruciating 4-0 football lesson handed out by Germany, there's no doubt they have.

Phuket Coming Events

July 5-July 9 Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is scheduled to host a series of rigorous surf and lifesaving training sessions in June and July. A five-day Basic to Intermediate Course will be held from July 5-9. Advanced programs and re-certification for bronze and gold medallion standard courses will take place from June 28-30, with another on July 12-14. To assist in elevating the general level of water safety on Phuket, the resort has opened these previously exclusive training sessions to the public.
Sessions are conducted and supervised by David Field, a water safety expert from Australia. Mr. Field has over 20 years' experience in lifesaving and is an assessor for Surf Life Saving Australia.
All training sessions are open to the public with a fee of 4000 baht per participant. Lifeguards working for hotels, public pools, sports clubs and all other interested individuals are encouraged to enroll through Benyathip Pattaraworawisit at

June 14 US consular section visits Phuket. Contact embassy for details.
June 15 Phuket Navy League warship crew welcome, BBQ Hut Smokehouse, Rat-U-Thit Road (across from Mercure hotel), Patong, 7pm.
June 18-20 Phuket International Halal Food Festival, Saphan Hin park, Phuket City
June 25-26 Phuket Music Festival, Full Moon Version, at Karon beach. [Last year it was called the RoyFest. It's no longer the RoyFest.]
June 25 to 27 Second Kathu Culture Road Fair, recalling the region's history
July 21-25 Phuket Six Senses Race Week, Evason, Rawai
July 4 US Phuket Navy League Independence Day free family picnic at the Headstart International Learning Center directly across from Makro (near Central Festival) in Phuket City from 10am-7pm.
October 1-3 Asian Hospitality and Travel Show, Central Festival Phuket Convention and Exhibition Center, Phuket City
December 4-11 Phuket King's Cup Regatta
January 6-9 PIMEX boat show, Royal Phuket Marina
February 9-13 The Bay Regatta - Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi
Phuket's Killer Beach Claims American Tourist
Breaking News An American woman has drowned on the first day of her holiday on Phuket, latest victim of Karon, the pleasant beach that turns killer at this time of year.
Phuket's Killer Beach Claims American Tourist

Phuket Coral Reefs Still Hostage to Sunshine
Latest Storm clouds have helped to relieve the risk to Phuket's coral reefs but water temperatures remain high and the region's natural treasures are not yet safe.
Phuket Coral Reefs Still Hostage to Sunshine

A Phuket Death: The Abject Loneliness of Gabriella
PHOTO ALBUM Phuketwan has helped to farewell one of Sweden's notorious holidaying hobos but it was not the kind of sendoff that she, or anyone else, would relish.
A Phuket Death: The Abject Loneliness of Gabriella

Phuket Hillside Slides Prompt Call for Action
Latest So many steep parts of Phuket pose a danger to those working on hillsides that the governor's environmental committee is agitating for immediate action.
Phuket Hillside Slides Prompt Call for Action

Phuket Pair Win Top Asia Pacific Reporting Awards
Latest Phuketwan's editorial team pick up two top journalism prizes at Asia Pacific awards: for Excellence in Investigative Reporting and for Excellence in Human Rights Reporting.
Phuket Pair Win Top Asia Pacific Reporting Awards


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Tuesday October 26, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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