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Phuket's Governor talks with Australian Ambassador James Wise

Governor Promises a 'Safer Phuket' for Aussies

Friday, November 19, 2010
IT WAS a good day for Australian Ambassador James Wise to make an official call: the sun was shining, and an Australian airline had just announced new flights betwen Phuket and Melbourne and Phuket and Brisbane, where Phuket Governor Tri Augkharadacha's student sons are studying for master's degrees.

At a formal meeting today at Phuket's Provincial Hall in Phuket City, Australian Honorary Consul Larry Cunningham listed a few continuing problems: tuk-tuk behavior, with drivers sometimes brandishing guns; the jet-ski operators, where several proposed solutions to scams had failed; Phuket airport, where the increase in tourist numbers had not been matched by faster-moving facilities.

The ambassador admitted to the governor that there were fraudsters and wrongdoers among the Australian tourists, too. He said that Phuket police should enforce the law, but that it was important to notify embassy officials or the honorary consul whenever a tourist created mischief.

Governor Tri said there was a plan to improve the police presence by adding new police stations in Vichit, south of Phuket City, and Karon. He added, in a likely preview of one topic for Monday's larger meeting with honorary consuls and embassy representatives, that planning was well advanced to establish a call centre that should ease tuk-tuk congestion along the beach road in Patong.

Outside the gathering, with Strategic Airlines already announcing new services to Phuket from February as V Australia withdraws, Ambassador Wise said Phuket had many positives that made the island an attractive place for Australians.

''I am sure that is going to continue to be the case,'' he said. ''The governor plans to make Phuket a destination where Australians are even safer and where their property is even better protected.''

He did warn though that while the rising Aussie dollar was giving visitors stronger spending power on Phuket, it was also enabling Australians to visit many other destinations around the globe.

''It's important that Phuket remains competitive,'' he said. ''It's important that the governor is able to make Phuket a safer place.''

The Ambassador plans to visit the Phuket Police Commander, the Phuket Chief Justice and the Chief of Phuket Immigration before attending an AustCham business networking gathering this evening.

Yesterday Ambassador Wise met with members of Phuket's Islamic Council and enjoyed a halal seafood dinner before attending a reception at the Chava Resort in Surin, where he met the chief executive of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation, Paiboon Upatising, Phuket's tourism industry leaders, honorary consuls and some high-profile Australian visitors.

The Ambassador spent three years in Australia's Bangkok Embassy in the 1990s but this was his first Phuket visit. ''I am very pleased to have this opportunity to come,'' he said.

*Strategic Airlines is to fly between Phuket and Melbourne from February 22 and Phuket and Brisbane from February 24, it was announced today.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Glad to see that Phuekt will be safer for Aussie tourists but who will protect the rest of us from beer mat stealing chunder monkeys??

Posted by Mister Ree on November 20, 2010 11:32

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copy:"Glad to see that Phuekt will be safer for Aussie tourists but who will protect the rest of us?"
I have a proposal.We make t-shirt and wright on them " I??m a Aussi", then we are safe, too.

Posted by Anonymous on November 20, 2010 16:55


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