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MediaWATCH: TAT Forecasts Boost in 2010

MediaWATCH: TAT Forecasts Boost in 2010

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

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

nationmultimedia.com The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects 14 million overseas tourists to visit Thailand next year, and with an expected 90 million trips by domestic holidaymakers, it believes tourism will enjoy total revenue of 960 billion baht in 2010. The number of inbound tourists will represent a 5.6-per-cent increase over this year's expected 13.2 million visitors. Officials in China have withdrawn that country's official warning against travel to Thailand, following Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's visit last week. The move is expected to draw more than 100,000 Chinese tourists to Thailand in the remaining months of this year.

Bangkok Post Body Fashion (Thailand) Ltd, a manufacturer and distributor of women's lingerie and swimwear under the Triumph trademark, has announced it will lay off 1930 staff at a factory in Samut Prakan province in August because of the global economic downturn and lower demand for its products. The company statement said it was working with the labor union and the Labor Ministry in finding new jobs for employees to be made redundant and providing them with financial compensation.

forbes.com The leader of the Democrat Party, PM Abhisit Vejjajiva, has called for a national reconciliation, but Thailand is very polarised and compromise may not be possible. It doesn't help that Abhisit is not seen as fully in-charge of the anti-Thaksin forces and may not survive the next flare up. ''Even if elections are held later this year, democracy doesn't simply return if elections are called,'' says Simon Tay, a Fellow at the Asia Society in New York. ''Fundamentally, Thailand has shown that there are people who can buy votes through populist elections. The country is going through a historical change and democracy is in transition and captive to force and money.''

Reuters Swine flu patients in Mexico were young and many were healthy before developing severe infections, doctors have reported. The first detailed studies of the strain of H1N1 influenza show there is no way yet to predict who will become severely ill from the virus. The World Health Organisation has confirmed 70,893 cases in the new swine flu pandemic, with 311 deaths in 110 countries. However, US health officials last week said there were probably at least a million cases there alone. Swine flu patients in Mexico were young and many were healthy before developing severe infections, doctors reported. Doctors said 90 percent of the seriously ill patients were under 50 - in contrast to seasonal influenza, which causes mostly mild illness in people under the age of 65.

Today's Must Read

wsj.com Gordon G Chang author of 'North Korea Takes On the World' writes: At this moment the Kang Nam, a North Korea tramp freighter, is on the high seas tailed by a team of American destroyers and submarines and watched by reconnaissance satellites and aircraft. The Kang Nam is a ''repeat offender'' and known to carry ''proliferation materials.'' United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874, unanimously passed on June 12, broadened the concept of illicit cargoes as far as North Korea is concerned. It prohibits Pyongyang from selling arms, even handguns. There has never been a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War. On legal grounds, the US Navy therefore has every right to seize the Kang Nam, treat the crew as prisoners of war and confiscate its cargo, even if the ship is carrying nothing more dangerous than melons. But does America have the will to do so?

mindyourowndamnbusinesspolitics.com I want the US to demand permission to board the ship, and if refused, I want the destroyer to disable that ship, request permission again, and if refused, I want the ship sunk in the name of human rights. If the Navy is allowed to board the ship and does not find weapons, the ship should be allowed to go free, but if there are weapons they need to be destroyed. Damn the UN. Full speed ahead.

voa.com Burma's highest court has rejected an appeal to allow more defense witnesses in the trial of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The trial has been widely condemned as rigged to keep the Nobel Peace Prize winner locked up. The Burmese high court has ruled against allowing two more defense witnesses. The decision upheld a ruling by a lower court banning Win Tin and Tin Oo from testifying on her behalf. Aung San Suu Kyi is on trial for violating the terms of her house arrest for allowing an uninvited guest to stay at her home without official permission. She is expected to be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

washingtonpost.com Michael Jackson's family moved quickly to take control of his personal and financial affairs, winning temporary custody of his three children and asking a judge to name the King of Pop's mother as administrator of his estate. In documents filed in Superior Court, Jackson's parents said they believe their 50-year-old son died without a valid will. They also made it clear they believe they should take charge of both his debt-ridden but potentially lucrative financial empire and act as permanent caretakers of his three children. Judge Mitchell Beckloff granted 79-year-old Katherine Jackson temporary guardianship of the children, who range in age from 7 to 12.

nst.com.my The typical Malaysian household have maids in tow when they eat in a fancy restaurant. The maids are easily recognisable - they are the ones who sit away from the main table, taking care of attention-deficit junior and not offered the fine food but sometimes no food at all. They must wait until they get home and eat the two-minute noodle but not the chocolates or the ice cream. They cannot retire for the night until junior is tucked in or the mistress of the house is done with imposing endless instructions to clean that toilet bowl or sweep again the forever dusty porch. To be fair, the one day off demand for maids may be off putting for most households, so let's focus on something a little bit easier - what about eight-hour work days just like everybody else in this country. But maids are like one of the family, so they should be taken advantage of and put to work ceaselessly.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Phuket Set for Secure Summit, says Defence Chief
Latest Tourism not terrorism is Phuket's stock in trade. Thailand's Defence Minister pays a visit and says that everything appears to be going fine for the big July summit.
Phuket Set for Secure Summit, says Defence Chief

Phuket Prison Crush: Inmate Numbers Rising
Latest The number of inmates at Phuket Prison is increasing at an alarming rate. Eventually, a crisis is likely unless some kind of alternative can be found.
Phuket Prison Crush: Inmate Numbers Rising

Phi Phi Riddle: Pursuing the Deaths of Two Tourists
Latest Phuket police have been called in to probe the deaths of two tourists on Phi Phi, a mystery that continues to puzzle everyone. Norwegian police may be able to uncover a cause.
Phi Phi Riddle: Pursuing the Deaths of Two Tourists

Phuket Joins the US Navy: Take Our Photo Tour
Photo Album There did not seem to be a lot of singing when we joined the US Navy for a tour of the USS New Orleans. But the sailors did seem a peaceful bunch, ideal for Phuket.
Phuket Joins the US Navy: Take Our Photo Tour

Update: Evason Resort Makes 68 Redundant
Updated Report Phuketwan has been told by union sources that the Evason management has handed instant termination notices to a large number of staff at the Rawai resort.
Update: Evason Resort Makes 68 Redundant

Swimsuits Plus Tata Young: Photo Special
Updating Photo Album Phuket proved last night that it can handle culture its own way. And all Phuket loves Tata Young and swimsuits. Last night was a treat for the eyes and the ears.
Swimsuits Plus Tata Young: Photo Special

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MediaWATCH: Michael Jackson 'still warm'
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MediaWATCH: Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett Die
News Latest Michael Jackson, the pop superstar, dies suddenly of an apparent heart attack at 50; Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett is dead of cancer; New Politics coming.
MediaWATCH: Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett Die

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