PHUKET, 22 May 2013: A massive blackout apparently originating from a fault at an hydropower station at the Rachaphrapa dam in Surat Thani blacked out Phuket last night, along with all provinces south of the dam, according to a report posted on Thaivisa.com.
The blackout started at about 1900, but 50 minutes later limited power became available. The web news channel said it was not clear when full power would be restored.
Most of the island’s popular restaurants and entertainment spots closed leaving the usually brightly lit streets of tourist zones dark and almost deserted.
MACAU, 22 May 2013: Casino industry leaders met in the world’s biggest gambling hub of Macau on Tuesday for the Global Gaming Expo Asia, a three-day fair of gambling innovations at the glitzy Venetian Macau hotel.
The largest gaming event in Asia, showcasing the industry’s latest products, services and technologies, opens to the public on Wednesday with machine companies focusing on Asian content.
The gaming sector has boomed in Asia over the past decade, led by the former Portugese colony of Macau which now generates more than six times the gambling revenue of Las Vegas thanks mainly to high-rolling Chinese VIPs.
BANGKOK, 21 May 2013: International tourist arrivals to Thailand posted a growth of 19.04% during January to April this year, according to Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data.
Released late last week, the ministry’s research registered 8,841,730 trips to the country during the first four months up from 7,427,772 visits during the same period last year.
In April alone, there were 2,013,012 trips, up 19.38% compared to 1,686,268 visits during the same month in 2013. The Songkran festival in mid-April was identified as the key driver that drew tourists in a month when temperatures soar to almost unbearable levels in the Thai capital.
DANANG, 21 May 2013: Six agencies in Danang will collaborate to crackdown on tourist related scams to help build tourism competitiveness.
The city’s six agencies are: Public Order Police Department; Danang’s 115 Emergency Centre; local market management agency; Transport Department’s traffic inspectors; Aviation Security Centre; and Danang Visitor Centre.
They will support local police to deal with accidents, robberies, fraud, rip-offs that involve foreigners.
KIEN GIANG, 21 May 2013: An island destination near the Mekong River delta, Phu Quoc, needs more hotel rooms and better airline connectivity from neighbouring countries.
Kien Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism director, Le Minh Hoang, told the local media that due to the growth in tourism, Phu Quoc Island needed around 3,000 new hotel rooms over the next two to three years to meet increasing demand.
Phu Quoc Island welcomed around 38,000 tourists per month at the start of the year, but the monthly visits are now 70,000. The island has approximately 2,900 rooms, with only 600 rooms that are star ratings.
BANGKOK, 20 May 2013: Reintroduction of the Elite Card has hit snags forcing the Tourism Authority of Thailand to postpone the launch to June this year.
It was supposed to be reintroduced mid-April after the Songkran festival.
TAT governor, Suraphon Svetasreni, said the authority will hold a meeting, 30 May, with the marketing teams from Asia and Russia.
BINH THUAN, 20 May 2013: Car and motor cycle rental firms come under the hammer after Binh Thuan province authorities warned they will clamp down on foreigners renting and driving vehicles without driving licenses.
The provincial People Committee deputy chairman, Nguyen Thanh Tam, said the crackdown was needed due to a rise in accidents involving tourists.
“We consider security at tourist spots and tourists’ safety a top prioriy…If people are offering motorbikes for rent and are breaking the law we will slap them with a heavy fine or revoke their license.”
BEIJING, 20 May 2013: The dire manners and “uncivilised behaviour” of some Chinese tourists abroad are harming the country’s image, said a top official who lamented their poor “quality and breeding”, according to state-run media.
Wang Yang, one of China’s four vice premiers, singled out for condemnation “talking loudly in public places, jay-walking, spitting and willfully carving characters on items in scenic zones”.
Such “uncivilised behaviours” were “often criticised by the media and have damaged the image of Chinese people and caused vicious impact”, he said, according to the website of the People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece.
JAKARTA, 20 May 2013: A British backpacker has died while trekking through the Indonesian jungle after she drank suspected tainted alcohol, police said Saturday.
Cheznye Emmons, 23, was travelling with fellow Briton Joseph Cook, 21, through lush rainforest on Sumatra Island, where many tourists go to see endangered orangutans, according to a police report into the incident.
The pair, accompanied by a third tourist, drank four bottles of local whisky called Mansion on 20 April, according to the document.
BANGKOK, 17 May 2013: Tourism Authority of Thailand hopes its consumer domestic fair Wan Thammada Thi Mai Thammada (An ordinary day turns special) to boost tourism during the up-coming low season.
The domestic fair opened Thursday and runs through to Sunday 19 May at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, Plenary Hall zone C, 1000 to 2000.
At the opening ceremony, TAT domestic market deputy governor, Thawatchai Aranyik, said organising the fair would support the government’s policy to raise tourism revenue to Bt2 trillion.