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Old May 20th, 2007, 12:01 PM   #541
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Bill Gates yacht inspires new man-made Thai island
Reuters
Published: Friday, May 18, 2007


HONG KONG -- A visit to Thailand by Bill Gates has inspired the construction of a man-made island off the resort of Phuket, so the world's richest man and other billionaires can moor their huge yachts.

Hoping to build an Asian playground for the rich and famous to rival the French Riviera and the Caribbean, cordless telephone tycoon Gulu Lalvani plans to build a doughnut-shaped island of 30 to 40 luxury villas and a hotel around a marina.

"Bill Gates was there last month with his wife on a 54 metre (177 foot) yacht and he loved it so much," Lalvani, founder of phone maker Binatone told Reuters in an interview.

"We sat on the beach together and he said it was one of the best holidays he'd had, and he would come back every year if only he had somewhere for his mega yacht."

Lalvani, 68, who built the Royal Phuket Marina on the island's east coast "as a retirement hobby", said he had received permission from Phuket's governor, and construction would start at the end of this year and take four years.

"The governor is a close friend," Lalvani said. "We'd discussed it before, but after Bill Gate's visit, he sanctioned the project."

Zoran Island, named after Lalvani's youngest son, will be 3 km (1.9 miles) off Phuket, in Phang Nga Bay, where limestone outcrops provided the backdrop to the James Bond film "The Man With the Golden Gun".

The island and development, reminiscent of huge man-made islands such as "The Palm" and "The World" projects off Dubai, will cost around $200 million, Lalvani said.

Phuket's western and southern coasts were battered by the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, with more than 200 lives lost on the island, but the resort property market has since rebounded.

"This is on the east coast, it's sheltered. The tsunami damage was on the west, it didn't touch us whatsoever," he said.

Most people had moved on from the disaster, he added.

"First quarter arrivals and hotel occupancy were at an all time record. 2005 was a disaster but now every hotelier is over the moon. The tsunami's a thing of the past, everyone's forgotten about it."

At the Royal Phuket Marina, which is too shallow at low tide to admit large yachts, two-bedroom condominiums have doubled in price on the secondary market to about US$600,000 in the past 18 months.

A five-bedroom villa and yacht berth at the resort, similar to the type that will be built on the new island, fetch around 3 million euros (US$4.05 million), about the same as a 30-year lease on a yacht berth in the south of France, Lalvani said.

Paul Allen, who formed Microsoft Corp. with Gates, visits Phuket once every two years, and Chelsea Football Club's Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, travels to the island every year, Lalvani said.

"It's paradise," he said. "That's why the James Bond movie and other Hollywood films are made here."

Karachi-born Lalvani, who now divides his time between London, Hong Kong and Phuket, said the Thai government reduced the import duty on yachts to zero from 220% after a chat he had with then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2004.

Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in September, and the government has since sought to close a loophole that allowed foreigners to own land in Thailand. However, foreigners are still allowed freehold ownership of condominiums to up to 49 percent of a project.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #542
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Do we need more islands around there, anyway this project must be interesting in the world
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:13 AM   #543
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บิลเกตส์ สนใจสร้างเกาะในไทย
วันที่ 21 พฤษภาคม 2550 โดย นสพ.เดลินิวส์

สำนักข่าวต่างประเทศ “รอยเตอร์” ตีข่าวมหาเศรษฐีเบอร์ 1 ของโลก "บิล เกตส์" ซึ่งนั่ง เรือยอชท์มาเที่ยวภูเก็ตเมื่อเดือนที่แล้ว สนใจโครงการสร้างเกาะที่มนุษย์สร้างขึ้นบริเวณอ่าวพังงา โดยทางเจ้าของภูเก็ตมารีน่าเป็นผู้เปิดเผยว่าจะสร้างขึ้นมาประมาณปลายปีนี้ คาดเสร็จใน 4 ปี เพื่อให้บรรดามหาเศรษฐีระดับโลกทั้งหลายใช้เป็นที่พักผ่อนและสามารถจอดเรือยอชท์ขนาดใหญ่ได้และมาเที่ยวแดนสวรรค์ไข่มุกอันดามันของไทย โดยมีเสี่ยหมีเจ้าของสโมสรเชลซีมาพักผ่อนเป็นประจำทุกปี

สำนักข่าวรอยเตอร์รายงานจากฮ่องกงเมื่อวันที่ 20 พ.ค. ว่า การเดินทางมาเยือนประเทศไทยของนายบิล เกตส์ มหาเศรษฐีอันดับ 1 ของโลกชาวอเมริกัน ทำให้เกิดแรงบันดาลใจที่จะสร้างเกาะที่มนุษย์สร้างขึ้นนอกชายฝั่งจ.ภูเก็ตของไทย เพื่อใช้สำหรับเป็นท่าจอดเก็บเรือยอชท์หรูหราของบรรดาอภิมหาเศรษฐีโลกรวมทั้งตัวเขาเอง และเป็นแหล่งพักผ่อนของบรรดาอภิมหาเศรษฐีในภูมิภาคเอเชีย ซึ่งอาจจะเป็นคู่แข่งสำคัญของชายหาดริเวียราของฝรั่งเศส และ หมู่เกาะในทะเลแคริบเบียน

เรื่องนี้ นายกูลู ลาฟวานี ผู้บริหารและก่อตั้งบริษัท โทรศัพท์ บินาโทน เปิดเผยว่า แผนการของนายบิล เกตส์ ก็คือการสร้างเกาะที่มนุษย์สร้างขึ้นเป็นรูปทรงกลมคล้ายขนมโดนัท มีเรือนพักหรูหราแบบวิลล่า 30-40 ยูนิต พร้อมกับโรงแรมชั้นหนึ่งโดยรอบท่าเรือ โดยนายบิล เกตส์ เดินทางมาเมืองไทยเมื่อเดือน เม.ย. ที่ผ่านมา พร้อมกับภรรยา โดยใช้เรือยอชท์หรูหราขนาดความยาว 177 ฟุต หรือ 54 เมตร จึงเกิดความประทับใจและชื่นชอบชายทะเลของไทย อย่างมาก หลังจากที่ได้นั่งลงคุยกันที่ชายหาด มหาเศรษฐีอันดับ 1 ของโลก ได้กล่าวว่า ที่นี่เป็นแหล่งพักผ่อนที่ดีที่สุดเท่าที่เคยได้ไปเที่ยวมา และอยากจะกลับมาทุกปี หากมีที่สำหรับจอดเรือยอชท์ขนาดใหญ่ของเขา

นายลาฟวานี วัย 68 ปี เกิดที่เมืองการาจี ประเทศปากีสถาน ซึ่งเป็นผู้ก่อสร้างท่าจอดเก็บเรือยอชท์ "รอยัล ภูเก็ต มารีน่า" ที่ จ.ภูเก็ต ในฐานะที่เป็นงานอดิเรกหลังเกษียณของเขา กล่าวว่า ได้รับอนุญาตจากทางผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัดภูเก็ตแล้ว ซึ่งการก่อสร้างคาดว่าจะเริ่มขึ้นได้ในปลายปีนี้ โดยจะใช้เวลาทั้งสิ้น 4 ปี "ผู้ว่าฯ ภูเก็ตเป็นเพื่อนสนิทของตน เราเคยคุยกันเรื่องนี้มาก่อน แต่หลังจากที่บิล เกตส์ มาเยือนภูเก็ต เขาก็สนใจและเห็นด้วย" นายลาฟวานี กล่าว

สำหรับชื่อเกาะโซรัส (Zoran) นั้น เป็นการตั้งชื่อตามบุตรชายคนเล็กของนายลาฟวานี อยู่ห่างจากชายฝั่งเกาะภูเก็ตประมาณ 3 กม. และอยู่ในบริเวณอ่าวพังงา ซึ่งเคยใช้เป็นสถานที่สำหรับการถ่ายทำภาพยนตร์แอ๊คชั่นเรื่อง เจมส์ บอนด์ 007 ตอน The Man With the Golden Gun โครงการพัฒนาเกาะแห่งนี้ก็คล้ายกับโครงการ เดอะ ปาล์ม และ เดอะ เวิลด์ เกาะที่มนุษย์สร้างเป็นรูปทรงใบปาล์มและแผนที่โลก ตั้งอยู่นอกชายฝั่งเมืองดูไบ สหรัฐอาหรับ เอมิเรตส์ มูลค่าโครงการนี้ประมาณ 200 ล้านดอลลาร์สหรัฐ หรือ 7,000 ล้านบาท

ส่วนปัญหาเรื่องภัยธรรมชาติ เช่นที่เคยเกิดคลื่นยักษ์สึนามิเมื่อเดือน ธ.ค. 2547 คร่าชีวิตผู้คนไปกว่า 200 ศพ บนเกาะภูเก็ตนั้น นายลาฟวานีกล่าวว่า เกาะนี้อยู่บริเวณชายฝั่งตะวันออก ซึ่งเป็นที่ราบ ส่วนที่เกิดสึนามินั้น อยู่แถบชายฝั่งตะวันตกของเกาะ อย่างไรก็ตาม บรรดาสถานที่ตั้งรีสอร์ตและที่พักต่าง ๆ ก็ได้เริ่มฟื้นตัวกลับคืนสู่ธุรกิจได้อีกครั้งแล้ว นักท่องเที่ยวต่างเริ่มกลับมาท่องเที่ยวที่ภูเก็ตอีกครั้ง

ที่ท่าเรือรอยัล ภูเก็ต มารีน่า นั้น เมื่อระดับน้ำทะเลลดลง ซึ่งก็สามารถจอดได้สำหรับเรือยอชท์ขนาดเล็กเท่านั้น แต่สำหรับท่าจอดเรือยอชท์บนเกาะใหม่ที่จะสร้างนี้ ถ้าเป็นวิลล่าระดับ 5 ห้องนอน และท่าจอดเรือยอชท์ขนาดใหญ่นั้น ราคาขายจะอยู่ที่ประมาณ 4.05 ล้านดอลลาร์สหรัฐ หรือประมาณ 141.75 ล้านบาท เท่ากับราคาเช่า 30 ปีของการจอดเรือยอชท์ในภาคใต้ของฝรั่งเศส

นอกจากนายบิล เกตส์ แล้ว ยังมีอภิมหาเศรษฐีหลายคน เช่น นายพอล อัลเลน ผู้ร่วมก่อตั้งบริษัทไมโครซอฟต์กับเขา ก็เดินทางมาเที่ยวภูเก็ตทุก ๆ 2 ปี นายโรมัน อับราโมวิช มหาเศรษฐีชาวรัสเซียเจ้าของสโมสรลูกหนัง เชลซี ก็มาเที่ยวภูเก็ตเป็นประจำทุกปี.





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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:46 AM   #544
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สงสัยว่าได้มีการศึกษาเรื่องสิ่งแวดล้อม, นิเวศน์วิทยา, กระแสน้ำ มาดีพอรึเปล่าอ่ะครับ
แอบเสียวๆว่าทำไปแล้วมันจะมีผลกระทบกับส่วนอื่นๆบริเวณนั้น

อย่างเช่นที่มาบตาพุต พอถมทะเลออกไป กลายเป็นว่ากระแสน้ำเปลี่ยนทิศ แล้วทำให้ชายหาดบริเวณตัวเมืองระยองถูกกัดเซาะ ต้องเอาหินมาถมเป็นระยะๆ น่าเกลียดพิลึก

อีกที่นึงก็เห็นตรงเก้าเส้ง เมืองสงขลาอ่ะ ถมทะเลออกไปนิดเดียว แต่หาดบริเวณใกล้เคียงถูกเซาะไปเยอะเลย เอากระสอบทรายมากั้นก็ไม่อยู่ มีต้นสนริมทะเลโค่นไปก็หลายต้น

แล้วก็เคยอ่านจากในนิตยสารที่เค้าแจกที่งานสถาปนิกสยามปีนี้เกี่ยวกับ ปาล์มจูไมราห์ ก็เจอปัญหาเรื่องทิศทางกระแสน้ำเหมือนกัน ตามแก้กันหลายรอบกว่าจะเรียบร้อย


Last edited by cHemon; May 21st, 2007 at 10:19 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:11 AM   #545
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ดีครับ ... ศึกษาเรื่องสิ่งแวดล้อมให้ดีๆ จะได้ไม่มีเรื่องยุ่งยากตามมาภายหลัง ...
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:31 AM   #546
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NGO มาประท้วง คงไม่ได้เกิด !!!

ยิ่งถมทะเลด้วย หี หึ........
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Old May 21st, 2007, 03:15 PM   #547
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If this is going to be a man-made island. I wonder how the authority is going to deal with the 'ownership' / land deeds. Especially with the Thai authorities where we've already got a lot of issues with the foreign investors.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 03:21 PM   #548
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http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007...s_30034764.php

No one contacts me about Gates' project : Phuket Governor

Phuket Governor Niran Kallayanamitr denied on Monday a media report that he agreed with Microsoft founder Bill Gates's project to construct a man made island off the resort of Phuket for his yachts.




The project was inspired by a recent visit of Gates to the resort island recently.

Reuters quoted cordless telephone tycoon Gulu Lalvani as saying that Gates visited Phuket last month with his wife on a 54 metre yacht and he loved it so much. Gates told Lalvani that Phuket was one of the best holidays he'd had, and he would come back every year if only he had somewhere for his mega yacht."


"The governor is a close friend," Lalvani said. "We'd discussed it before, but after Bill Gate's visit, he sanctioned the project," he said.


Niran said that no one contacted him about the project. "I just learnt about it from the media," he said.


Considering tourism strategies, Niran said that it would be good for Phuket to have more ports for yachts.


However he said the project would be studied to know an urgency and environmental impacts.


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Old May 21st, 2007, 06:39 PM   #549
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interesting project........
but yet again....it could effect the environment like cHemon said.........
the ecosystem of the sea down there is pretty fragile i guess not like in Dubai..........
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:58 PM   #550
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honestly, its a cool project, but it gives about absolutely nothing for our country. maybe it might give some contractors some money, but it'll be some random super rich dudes.

don't hurt our ecosystem.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:23 PM   #551
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It is kind of ridiculous in a way that someone is proposing the man made island in thailand
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 01:38 AM   #552
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I hate it already. I really don't like man-made islands

Little changes can effect the whole enviornment
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 02:02 AM   #553
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Does the proposed place have coral reefs?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:48 AM   #554
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Coral Reef? Well It can be done using the decomissioned Cover Goods Carriages from RSR to create artifical reefs for sea creatures
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:20 AM   #555
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Press conference to clarify "Zoran Island" plan


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Developers are planning a man-made island to berth super-yachts off the east coast of Phuket, but early news reports may have overstated the case. The developers now say there are many challenges to overcome before any construction can begin.


PHUKET: Following reports that a man-made island was ready to be built off the east coast of Phuket to accommodate a marina for mega-yachts, the marketing manager at Royal Phuket Marina [RPM] clarified that the project is still in the early planning stages and faces many obstacles before it can become a reality.

RPM Marketing Director Wilaiporn Titimanaaree told the Gazette that developer Gulu Lalvani will hold a press conference at RPM on May 25 to announce his plan, which envisions a 6.6-billion-baht marina, luxury hotel and villa complex on reclaimed land about three kilometers off Phuket’s east coast.

K. Wilaiporn told the Gazette that a recent report by news agency Reuters had misquoted Mr Lalvani as saying that the project already had the approval of the Phuket Governor.

As a result, Gov Niran Kalayanamit has been besieged with requests to verify the story since it was released, she said.

Mr Lalvani wished to clarify the matter by saying that he had discussed the idea with former governor Udomsak Uswarangkura, who had only agreed in principal with the plan to build a man-made island off the coast near RPM.

It has not clear whether the island, if built, would fall under the jurisdiction of Phuket or Phang Nga province.

Mr Lalvani said he is aware of the obstacles that will need to be overcome, including the need to get public approval for the massive project in an area not far from where environmental activists have been protesting actively against the construction of a simple pier, she said.

The idea for a man-made island capable of berthing mega-yachts was inspired by a visit to Phang Nga Bay in April by Bill Gates and his wife Melinda aboard his yacht, Reuters reported.

Mr Gates was quoted as telling Mr Lalvani that he loved the area so much that he would like to visit every year, if only he could find a marina capable of berthing the 54-meter vessel.

To accommodate the needs of Mr Gates and the world’s other super-rich, Mr Lalvani proposes to build “Zoran Island”, named after his third son. The project would be reminiscent of “The Palm” and “The World” projects off the coast of Dubai, Reuters quoted him as saying.

Many more details about the project concept will be unveiled at the upcoming press conference, at 5 pm at RPM. The event will also be used to officially announce RPM’s hosting of the PIMEX boat show in early November and to outline the significance of Phuket being named “Asia’s Maritime Capital” at the prestigious Christofle Asia Boating Awards held in Bangkok last month.

Despite some confusion, reaction to the plan has been mostly positive.

Gov Niran told reporters that no one had contacted him about the project. “I just learned about it from the media,” he said.

However, he added that it would be good for Phuket to have more ports for yachts, and the idea is in line with a provincial plan to turn the island into the new “Marina Hub of Asia”.

“Currently, there are not enough marinas,” he said.

The project would first have to be carefully studied and its potential impact on the environment and the local communities assessed, he said.

Investors from many countries, including Saudi Arabia, Russia and India, were interested in investing in hotels and marinas in Phuket, he added.

Tourism and Sports Minister Suvit Yodmani welcomed the idea, saying that it could promote a good image for Thailand’s tourism.

However, he also said more details of the project were needed and it must be studied further.

Phuket Tourism Association Chairman Maitree Narukhatpichai said he would not object to the project as long as it did not harm the environment and local ways of life.

Phang Nga Governor Winai Buapradit said Gates had not contacted him.

“But if he's interested in developing such a project, it’s in line with our provincial strategy to promote marine tourism,” Gov Winai said.

However, Wildlife Fund Thailand Coordinator Thanu Nabnien expressed concern that a man-made island could harm the ecology of Phang Nga Bay, which he described as an important part of Asia’s natural heritage.

Source : Phuket Gazette : May 24, 2007
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:27 AM   #556
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nice project
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Old May 24th, 2007, 07:40 AM   #557
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The project would first have to be carefully studied and its potential impact on the environment and the local communities assessed, he said.
good
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Old May 28th, 2007, 04:34 AM   #558
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Lalvani outlines his grand vision

Royal Phuket Marina developer Gulu Lalvani held a press conference on Friday to outline his vision to develop Phuket as the world's top yachting destination - including his plan to build Zoran Island, a new island off the coast to site a deluxe marina complex capable of berthing mega-yachts.

"I am very pleased that at the beginning of this month Phuket was named the best marine destination in Asia, but this is not enough for me. My dream is to make Phuket the world's No-1 destination. Some of you may think this is impossible, but some of my friends thought I was crazy when I told them a few years ago that I wanted to make Phuket the top destination in Asia," he said.

"As many of you know, Bill Gates was here last month for two weeks on his 54-metre yacht. He said it was one of the best holidays he had ever had. My dream is to have more people like Bill Gates coming here. All we lack is the facilities for yachts in the 40- to 70-metre range. My dream has been to make an island which can take mega-yachts. I shared my vision with [former] governor Udomsak [Uswarangkura] last year and he likes the idea very much," Lalvani said.

Udomasak was among several dignitaries attending the press conference, held at the Royal Phuket Marina conference room. Also attending were deputy governor Smith Palawatvichai and Tourism Authority of Thailand deputy governor for international marketing Juthaporn Rerngronasa.

Zoran Island, named after one of telecom tycoon Lalvani's sons, would be located about three kilometres offshore near the end of the existing channel to the Royal Phuket Marina. It would have restaurants, shopping and other facilities catering to the needs of the world's super-rich, he said.

Reports in the Thai media that Gates would invest in the Zoran Island project were incorrect, he said.

"I want to put the record straight on that it will be my investment, not that of Bill Gates," Lalvani said.

Asked what he expected to be the biggest obstacle to turning Zoran Island from a dream into a reality, Lalvani said he had met with officials from the Marine Department earlier in the day and that he had hired an Australian consulting firm to conduct an initial survey of the proposed project site.

"The government is pro-tourism, but of course they have to check out that this is the right location … There don't seem to be any obstacles, but we will have to go through proper procedures," he said.

"Because we have a temporary government at the moment, officials tend to delay making decisions … In the past, I had very fast decisions from the governor, but this year we have a temporary government that has other priorities. But I believe that once the survey is done it is only a matter of time before we get there.

"The islands that surround Phuket are the most beautiful in the world.

I am so confident that I have fully funded this entire project with my own money ... there is not one baht of borrowing. So I have total confidence in Zoran Island being a long-term success."

Juthaporn hailed Phuket for being named as "Asia's Maritime Capital" and the Phuket King's Cup Regatta being named "Yachting Event of the Year" at the Christofle Asia Boating Awards in Bangkok last month.

Evidence of Phuket's post-tsunami recovery and continued growth is reflected in tourist arrival figures, she said.

There were 4.5 million visitors to Phuket in 2006, up 79 per cent from the post-tsunami 2005. First-quarter figures for 2007 showed a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent, she said.

Also increasing were the number or direct flights to Phuket, including scheduled flights from places such as Australia and Hong Kong.

A rise in the number of charter flights scheduled to arrive from Europe in upcoming months reflects the fact that Europeans are beginning to view Phuket as more of a year-round destination than just a winter getaway, she added.

More good news comes with an increase in the number of cruise ships scheduled to include the island on their itineraries.

Among the newcomers are Seabourn and Carnival cruise lines, Juthaporn said.

Further details of Zoran Island's construction and projected costs have not been announced, but based on computer models released by Lalvani, it appears that the island will be capable of mooring at least 40 yachts and about 10 mega-yachts.

The design calls for a ring of villas surrounding a hotel and man-made bay.

Source : THE NATION : May 28, 2007
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Old May 28th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #559
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Gulu’s goal: to bring mega-yachts to Phuket


“Some of my friends thought I was crazy when I told them a few years ago that I wanted to make Phuket the top destination in Asia,” telecoms tycoon Gulu Lalvani told a press conference at Royal Phuket Marina yesterday evening as he discussed his plans for creating Zoran Island off the east coast.




KOH KAEW: Royal Phuket Marina (RPM) developer Gulu Lalvani yesterday held a press conference to outline his vision to develop Phuket as the world’s top yachting destination – including his plan to build Zoran Island, a new island off the coast to site a deluxe marina complex capable of berthing mega-yachts.

“I am very pleased that at the beginning of this month Phuket was named the best marine destination in Asia, but this is not enough for me. My dream is to make Phuket the world’s number one destination. Some of you may think this is impossible, but some of my friends thought I was crazy when I told them a few years ago that I wanted to make Phuket the top destination in Asia,” he said.

“As many of you know, Bill Gates was here last month for two weeks on his 54-meter yacht. He said it was one of the best holidays he ever had. My dream is to have more people like Bill Gates coming here. All we lack is the facilities for yachts in the 40- to 70-meter range. My dream has been to make an island which can take mega-yachts. I shared my vision with [former] Governor Udomsak [Uswarangkura] last year and he like the idea very much,” he said.

Former Governor Udomasak was among several dignitaries attending the press conference, held at the RPM conference room. Also attending were Phuket Deputy Governor Smith Palawatvichai and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor for International Marketing Juthaporn Rerngronasa.

Zoran Island, named after one of telecom tycoon Mr Lalvani’s sons, would be located about three kilometers offshore near the end of the existing channel to RPM. It would have restaurants, shopping and other facilities catering to the needs of the world’s super-rich, he said.

Mr Lalvani said that reports in the Thai media that Bill Gates would invest in the Zoran Island project were incorrect.

“I want to put the record straight on that it will be my investment, not that of Bill Gates,” he said.

Asked what he expected to be the biggest obstacle to turning Zoran Island from a dream into a reality, Mr Lalvani told the Gazette that he met with officials from the Marine Department earlier in the day and that he had hired an Australian consulting firm to conduct an initial survey of the proposed project site.

“The government is pro-tourism, but of course they have to check out that this is the right location…There don’t seem to be any obstacles, but we will have to go through proper procedures,” he said.

“Because we have a temporary government at the moment, officials tend to delay making decisions…In the past, I had a very fast decisions from the governor, but this year we have a temporary government that has other priorities. But I believe that once the survey is done it is only a matter of time before we get there.

“The islands that surround Phuket are the most beautiful in the world. I am so confident that I have fully funded this entire project with my own money...there is not one baht of borrowing. So I have total confidence in Zoran Island being a long-term success.”

As had Mr Lalvani, K. Juthaporn hailed Phuket’s for being named as “Asia’s Maritime Capital” and the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta being named “Yachting Event of the Year” at the Christofle Asia Boating Awards in Bangkok last month.

Evidence of Phuket’s post-tsunami recovery and continued growth was reflected in tourist arrival figures, she said.

There were 4.5 million visitors to Phuket in 2006, up 79% from the post-tsunami 2005. First quarter figures for 2007 showed an increase of 26% over the first quarter of 2006, she said.

Also increasing were the number or direct flights to Phuket, including scheduled flights from places such as Australia and Hong Kong.

An increase in the number of charter flights scheduled to arrive from Europe in upcoming months reflects the fact that Europeans are beginning to view Phuket as more of a year-round destination than just a winter getaway, she said.

More good news comes with an increase in the number of cruise ships scheduled to include the island on their itineraries.

Among the newcomers are Seabourn and Carnival cruise lines, she said.

Further details of Zoran Island’s construction and projected costs have not been announced, but based on computer models released by Mr Lalvani, it appears that the island will be capable of mooring at least 40 yachts and about 10 mega-yachts. The design calls for a ring of villas surrounding a hotel and man-made bay.

Source : Phuket Gazette : May 27, 2007
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Old May 28th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #560
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Seems like the island is out from the coral reef zone.
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