Jan. 25 - Feb. 7, 2012 Vol. 2 No. 12 Coconuts dying in Phangan, planters seek govt support By CHERDCHAI TAWEEMUANG WITH more than 2,000 rai of land area already aﬀected, coconut planters on Koh Phangan are asking for help about the worsening problem of insects feeding on coconut leaves and fruits on the island. e worried planters are afraid that at the rate the two-colored beetles continue in their feeding frenzy; all the coconut trees on the island will soon be gone. e most damaged areas are in Moo 1, 4 and 6 on Tambon Koh Phangan and in Moo 1 and 2 on Tambon Baantai. According to Mrs.Nob Piriyasatit, a 72-year-old coconut planter – the pests are destroying her ancestral heritage. “Some coconut trees are as old as 70 years,” she told Samui Gazette. “ey have been our Turn to page 6 Facts about the Two-colored beetle DYING COCONUT TREES - Part of the coconut plantation area already destroyed by the two-colored coconut leaf beetle (Brontispa Longissima). Planters on the island say the worsening problem of insects feeding on coconut leaves and fruits has damaged up to some 2,000 rai of land. ey are afraid that if this is not stopped soon they may one day wake up with all the coconut trees in Koh Phangan gone. (Cherdchai Taweemuang) Brontispa longissima (known as the coconut leaf beetle, the twocolored coconut leaf beetle, or the coconut hispine beetle), is a leaf beetle that feeds on young leaves and damages seedlings and mature coconut palms. It has become an increasingly serious pest of coconuts throughout various growing regions in the Pacific, especially over the last 3 decades, including Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Vietnam, Nauru,Cambodia, Laos, ailand, Maldives, Myanmar, Hainan Island, and Aru Islands, and most recently, the Philippines. Control measures include pesticides, and biological control agents such as parasitic wasps (e.g., Asecodes hispinarum). (Source: Wikipedia) Despite floods, tourism arrivals still up By CHERDCHAI TAWEEMUANG BANGKOK - Figures tabulated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports for January – November 2011 show total arrivals by nationality of 17,105,283, up 21.17 percent over the same period of 2010. Although the recent floods in ailand did impact on arrivals during the months of October and November 2011, the growth in the January-September 2011 period as well as the post-floods bounceback was high enough to keep arrivals on a positive trend for the entire year. e following performance analysis by market is based on the figures tabulated so far: Overview: Visitors from East Asia totalled 9,289,474 (+27.65%), Europe 4,388,092 (+13.63%), the Americas 848,626 (+12.92%), South Asia 1,062,595 (+19.77%), Oceania 830,780 (17.64%), Middle East 563,157 (+7.69%), and Africa 122,559 (+11.84%). East Asia: East Asian visitor arrivals to ailand comprise the biggest market share of all visitors. Of the 17.10 million arrivals in January - November 2011, a total of 9.28 million were from the East Asia region. Malaysia topped the list with 2,093,987 arrivals, followed by China 1,571,294, Japan 1,047,181 and Korea 922,077. Europe: e January-November period saw a good growth rate of 13.63% to 4.38 million. Russia is the largest source market from Europe with arrivals of 851,077, up 61.52%. e United Kingdom is the second highest source market with a total of 755,523, up 4.15%, followed by Germany 553,065, up 1.94%. South Asia: Arrivals in JanuaryNovember 2011 grew by a strong 19.77% to 1,062,595. India has become a primary market with arrivals up by 23.61% to 838,256, making it the region’s fastest growing market. ailand is enjoying huge popularity among Indian niche markets ;such as, weddings and honeymooners. Turn to page 6 FINE DINING FESTIVAL - Koh Samui mayor Ramnate Jaikwang (third from right, front row), joins executive chefs, F&B managers and general managers during the recent photo op for marketing and promotion of the “Samui Fine Dining Festival 2012” planned in March this year, featuring 15 of the island’s top restaurants, namely: Banyan Tree, Beach Republic, Full Moon, Le Méridien, Orgasmic, Prego, Red Snapper, RockPool, tawaNN, e Barge Fine Dining, e 5 Islands, Tree Tops, Twisted ai, Santiburi and Zazen.