Quest'anno la “Prova Tsunami” si è svolta nel migliore di modi, con polizia e mezzi soccorso spiegati e pronti ad intervenire. Anche la “sirena” ha funzionato non come nel 2006 che diede forfait per problemi al computer centrale.
Molti turisti hanno partecipato attivamente alla prova generale, anche se il clima scherzoso non ricorda certo l'evento catastrofico del 2004.
Tourists stay put as tsunami sirens sound
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TO THE RESCUE: An emergency rescue team relocates an ‘injured tsunami victim’ at Saphan Hin during today’s tsunami drill held across the six Andaman provinces.
PATONG: Tourists in Patong opted to soak up the sun rather than run for their lives during yesterday's tsunami drill. The exercise, held across the six Andaman provinces, included the sounding of all 79 tsunami warning towers operated by the National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC).
At Patong Beach, a female English tourist told the Gazette, “I heard the siren and knew what it was, but when I looked out and could see that there was no tsunami coming, I just sat here.”
When questioned what she would have done had a real wave been hurtling towards the beach, the English tourist gave no reply.
One male Kuwaiti tourist said, “The hotel told me about the drill and gave me brochures, so I knew there was no real danger. I am staying on the ninth floor of my hotel so I feel very safe on holiday in Patong.”
One male tourist said, “I knew there was a drill, but I couldn’t hear the siren.”
The drill, which was co-ordinated from a command center in Saphan Hin, in Phuket City, began at 9:30 am and finished at 11:30 am, with all 19 of Phuket’s warning towers tested.
At Saphan Hin, local residents from Rassada and Wichit joined students from Phuket Vocational College, Phuket Technical College and Phuket Polytechnic College in the drill, along with emergency-response personnel.
Meanwhile, tambon administration organizations (OrBorTor) and local municipalities conducted their own drills around the island.
Phuket Vice-Governor Smith Palawatvichai said that he was satisfied with Phuket’s part in the Andaman-wide tsunami drill.
Ente per il turismo Thailandese (TAT) ridimensiona le stime per gli arrivi anno 2009 causa aumento dei carburanti voli. Sinceramente non è solo il problema del petrolio, è che il mondo intero è in recessione. Fare le vacanze è ormai un lusso, ma i Thai credono che noi stranieri i soldi li troviamo sugli alberi, e per questo stanno distruggendo isola di Phuket “cementando il cementabile”.
Sinceramente per chi come noi vive di turismo è un “colpo duro” aumento dei prezzi, ma personalmente sono “felice”. Noto una forte diminuzione delle auto per le strade, i lavori vanno a rilento in parecchi cantieri, forse questo aumenti preserveranno isola per qualche anno?
TAT lowers tourism projections
BANGKOK (The Nation): The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has sharply cut its projections for the number of international visitors and tourism revenue next year due to soaring oil prices, which are discouraging international travel and have led to cuts in inbound flights.
It targets only a 3.3-per-cent growth in the number of international visitors in 2009, a sharp downward revision from the original projection of 10 per cent. From a projected 17 million, or 10-per-cent growth, the TAT now expects only 16 million travellers to visit the country. About 15 million visitors are expected in 2008.
The TAT has also halved it revenue-growth projection for next year to 5 per cent, though spending per head per trip is expected to increase from 38,760 baht this year to 39,375 next year. The revenue projection for this year is 600 billion baht.
The authority is maintaining next year's domestic projection of 87 million trips, with revenue of 407 billion baht.
Deputy governor for international marketing Santichai Eua-Chongprasit said the three key negative factors were oil prices, world economic uncertainty, and fewer flights into the Kingdom.
He said the travel industry, especially the long-haul segment, would be affected as the oil price could climb to US$200 (6,800 baht) per barrel.