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Phuket becomes more international with every overseas flight

Phuket's Future Choice: Greed or Green

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
PHUKET: Arrivals and departures at Phuket International Airport continued to stutter in September with numbers dipping by 8.87 percent compared to the same month last year.

Passenger numbers continued to cement Phuket's future as an international island that requires an international outlook and international standards, if Thailand tourist authorities are wise.

Of the 8.3 million arrivals and departures through the Phuket airport in the first nine months of 2014, 4.7 million were from international flights.

The dip in numbers for September was the fourth negative month in a row.

International arrivals and departures were down by 7.34 percent to 416,502 compared to a dip of 10.66 percent among domestic numbers, with the total for all Phuket passengers in September at 759,129.

The levelling off of figures for Phuket follows a burst of 60 months in which numbers year on year showed a monthly increase - a record five years that will take some matching.

There are those who now believe no effort should be made to generate greater numbers, that Phuket should pay greater attention to quality not quantity, and that a respite is needed from the pressure created by such a sudden surge in popularity.

What's certainly true is that all sense of balance had been lost, with Airports of Thailand especially unaware of the effects of the chase for greater and greater numbers on the delicate balance between nature and ''progress.''

The clearout of private individuals making profit from public beaches and the shorefronts and the brake on taxi and tuk-tuk intimidation has provided a welcome circuit breaker since the military took charge in Thailand on May 22.

Real benefits for future generations of Thais will come if the government now compels future developers of resorts and condominiums in Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga to provide their own water supplies through tanks or lagoons and produce 20 percent of their own power.

The rush to profit from an illusory ''property boom'' will continue long after the arrivals at Phuket International Airport slow unless the environmentally-sensitive government acts sensibly to slow it to an acceptable pace.

Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga will never have a better chance to remove greed from the agenda and replace it with green.

*The airport celebrated its 26th anniversary today with the acting AoT president, Niran Teeranaratsin, flying in to mark the occasion.

He said October 2016 remains the date for completion of the 5.7 billion baht Phuket airport expansion, when the parking will increase from space for 500 cars to space for 1500 cars.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I went to China 10 days a months in the last quarter.. I'm a frequent flyer.. Not only the number of tourists is dropping, but the quality of tourist is drammatically changed. No at the immmigration point, I stay in queque wiht chinese and korean tourist, so big in number, that the last time the immigration officers offered at few European present to use the VIP lane.. So the real data for the real tourist is -50%..

Posted by dave on October 7, 2014 22:08

Editor Comment:

I think your ability to count fast may be lacking, dave. The July-September quarter also is always a time when Korean and Chinese tourists travel. People from different parts of the world take their holidays at different times of the year. There is no reason why the AoT would falsify the figures. Given the choice between professional people counters and whatever your gut feeling is, readers would be wise to stick with the professionals. So would you.

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The bubble had to burst at some point! Phuket is a small island, already the infrastructure can't cope. Apart from that, property prices have been driven to the point where the average Thai can't afford to buy. Time to let tourist arrivals stabilise to a sustainable level.

Posted by agogohome on October 8, 2014 08:58

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Oh that we could use the facilities as a car park instead of seeing them full of minibuses and staff cars.

Posted by Mister Ree on October 8, 2014 09:30

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(moderated)

Posted by jimbo34 on October 8, 2014 10:25

Editor Comment:

Doomsayers are not welcome. If you have nothing constructive to say, don't bother.

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This is my last post on this site. Can hardly be called a forum. Open or otherwise. Much like this country's current administration. The editor will brook no quarter as to the veracity of anyone else's experiential evidence here.
The editor once proclaimed he would not post, haha, on his OWN site anymore, yet proclaims and persists to do just that! Why? Many say he's an egomaniac. I would go further and, despite the editor's stance (repeatedly pointed up as being his pro egalitarian' stance, apropos his oft touted by himself defence of the Rohingna)

Whilst this particular site does give 'information' before it's competition here, it is woefully lacking in any objectivity. Ergo, this 'invitation to post' anyone else's views are bogus.

Posted by jonty on October 8, 2014 15:13

Editor Comment:

PW was never intended to be a site for readers to vent their spleen or even to add their unwanted opinions. When we set out the rules, we expected most people who wanted to comment would be normal, reasonably intelligent people. We were wrong. Unlike chat forums, where twisted and perverse opinions seem to be encouraged and welcome, PW carries articles by journalists. They are reasonable, factual, and not designed to encourage ill-informed outpourings. Any additions by readers are expected to also be reasonable and factual, and to pass on information or personal experiences relating to those articles. All too often, some readers comment for the sake of it. They don't have any special knowledge or specific experience. They don't really have anything to say. The rule at PW is simple: add value, or don't bother. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to cease bringing the carpers, the dingbats and the bigots to order. However, the vast majority of genuine readers deserve to have someone saving them from these painful people.

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I fully sympathize Jonty - this editor doesn't want comments that might contradict his ego. I say good riddance to him when he gets deported in February. Its just a shame he can't sell it to someone a little more practiced in running a comments column, as i do have to say, he gets the news out quickly and with an expat's perspective.

Posted by jimbo34 on October 9, 2014 13:53

Editor Comment:

No compulsion for you to stick around, jimbo. All I ask is the evidence to support whatever it is you wish to say. There is nothing to support this particular contention, which is as usual pure guesswork on your part. I don't have an ego. But i do hate bigots.


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