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Ambassador Joan Boer made some plain-talking points to Phuket's governor

Jet-Skis, Taxis Top Dutch Envoy's List of Phuket's Must-Solve Problems

Friday, November 28, 2014
PHUKET: Unless Phuket's jet-ski and taxi problems are quickly solved, tourists will go elsewhere, Dutch Ambassador Joan Boer told Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong this week.

The meeting between the two men on Wednesday produced one of the most frank conversations so far between a European Union envoy and the holiday island's leading administrator.

Although Governor Nisit is new to the role, the problems are long-running and continue to figure in complaints to honorary consuls on Phuket and ambassadors in Bangkok.

Ambassador Boer has been a regular visitor to Phuket during his three years in the role.

''If my citizens are not happy and if citizens of other countries are not happy, they will not come back,'' the ambassador told the governor. ''Most tourists who come to Phuket enjoy their holidays, but we cannot deny that some have faced trouble.

''I believe that if we work together, we can do something about it and make a better Phuket. I am trying to help find solutions, because both sides want Phuket to be the best tourist destination in Thailand.''

Governor Nisit appeared to take the ambassador's comment as they were intended - not as a threat but as a request for greater speed in pursuing mutual objectives.

The key to the conversation came in four words: ''Fix these problems, please.''

Governor Nisit told the ambassador that the island's administrators were just as keen as he was to resolve the long-standing issues and were hoping the jet-ski, taxi and beach problems would all be resolved in 2015.

Comments

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The cynical in me has to laugh at the last paragraph. The standard line when someone in authority doesn't want to/ cant't/ hasn't the power to/ solve the problem. Let's at least start with some honesty and then take it from there...

Posted by Duncan on November 28, 2014 13:23

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You don't have to be an ambassador to know that people will go to other places. The property law for foreigners will change in July 2015 in Vietnam. That could have a major impact as well, in regards to investors. I don't want to sound like a doomsayer, but I have been here for half of my life, and the attitude of the Thais is not changing for the better. There is a vast amount of people that still don't have a clue about preparing for the future. To me, that is scary.

Posted by Carl on November 28, 2014 13:49

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Don't hold your breath Mr Ambassador...we've all been waiting for the jet ski and taxi problems to be solved for years...and all we get is non stop false promises

Posted by sky on November 28, 2014 14:38

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How well is Thailand prepared for Asean? Other Asean members speak English, so bargirls fluent in English, there could soon be a bar girl gap! Electricians, plumbers, etc all speaking English.

Posted by Feisty Farang on November 28, 2014 14:58

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Wow don't think he reads Phuket Wan regularly, does he. Save your breath Ambassador!

Posted by Vfaye on November 28, 2014 15:35

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You are absolutely right Mr. Ambassador. I agree with your comments.

Posted by Manu on November 28, 2014 15:39

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it seems we are getting now into a situation that ALL Ambassadors have to advice their respective Governments to give a negative travel advice for Phuket. Let Phuket dry-out 1 'high season, and than see or the local officicials ask ( please!) tourists to come back and treated as normal tourists, like anywhere else. Prove it Phuket! Start with taxi fares to be the same as in Bangkok! As the Governor said to the dutch Ambassador,... step by step! But make the first step NOW!

Posted by Kurt on November 28, 2014 16:22

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Mister Ambassador, please, can you add to your 'Phuket list' the subject of personal umbrella confiscation? In plain English, thai officials now even steel tourist belongings on Phuket. Perhaps a negative Phuket travel advice should be given, Things get worse, not better for Phuket tourists.

Posted by Kurt on November 28, 2014 16:30

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The slowdown is already showing. We manage about 200 rental properties and for the first time in a decade we have vacancies. We used to get maybe 30 inquiries per day this time of the year but now the phones are virtually silent.

Looking at Houses and Rooms for rent ads at various online portals it's crystal clear that everyone is in the same situation.

Furthermore my inbox is flooded with fabulous hotel offers from countless portals for Phuket for peak season dates.

Issues like those highlighted by the ambassador are definitely a major contributor for the dropping tourist numbers. It is also painfully obvious that authorities don't give a damn.

I guess when arrival numbers finally crash to the tune of 50% or more do they suddenly pull their heads out of the sand and start wondering what the heck happened.

Posted by Herbert on November 28, 2014 17:16

Editor Comment:

Retired German honorary consul Dirk Naumann, disillusioned with years of people on Phuket failing to listen to good advice, said that the tourism industry would have to crash before change came. He may be right.

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no tourists no economic life for the Thai people in Phuket



























































































































No tourists No economic life for the Thai people in Phuket. Do you want all Phuket traders return 20 or 30 years ago? You must move with the times and Thailand need tourists for its well-being. Without the tourists who spend their money there will be no welfare.






























































































































































































































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No tourists No economic life for the Thai people in Phuket. Do you want all Phuket traders return 20 or 30 years ago? You must move with the times and Thailand need tourists for its well-being. Without the tourists who spend their money there will be no welfare.























































































No tourists No economic life for the Thai people in Phuket. Do you want that all Phuket traders return 20 or 30 years ago? You must move with the times and Thailand need tourists for its well-being. Without the tourists who spend their money there will be no welfare.

Posted by manu on November 28, 2014 18:14

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Governor Nisit told the ambassador that the island's administrators were just as keen as he was to resolve the long-standing issues and were hoping the jet-ski, taxi and beach problems would all be resolved in 2015.
Then 2016 2017 2018 2040 2085 same issues same problems for decades no attempted solution too many brown paper bags being passed around full of tea money.

Posted by slickmelb on November 28, 2014 20:15

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@ Ed

I had the pleasure of meeting Dirk on a couple of occasions and we spoke about the very thing you mentioned quite a few years back already. He really put an incredible effort in trying to change things better, to the point where it affected his health. It's so sad to see his efforts have all been in vain.

Add to that the fact that he, as none of the other Honorary Consuls that I know, received any financial compensation for his work.

I have no doubt Ambassador Boer has quite a bit more information on the subject than anyone of us commenting here and to be appointed in his position you can be damn sure he is no fool either.

He is however a diplomat and thus he has to choose his wording very carefully. For a man in his position this statement of his is about as harsh as one can expect to hear from an Ambassador in public.

The Governor would be well advised to take note of this fact.

The outside world is getting tired of the smoke and mirror tactics of Phuket and Thailand in general and is quickly losing patience.

Posted by Herbert on November 28, 2014 22:56

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Pw forgets to tell us the biggest concern of the ambassador, the removal of the sunbeds and the umbrellas.

Posted by Martijn on November 29, 2014 17:09

Editor Comment:

The biggest concerns of the ambassador are safety and security.

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That is not what you wrote editor. Why didn't you write about his VERY BIG (much bigger than the taxi and jetskiconcern) sunbedconcern? What is your problem when people want a sunbed and an umbrella instead sitting in the sand?

Posted by Martijn on November 29, 2014 22:08

Editor Comment:

The problem is, Martin, that the beach is public, not private. For 20 years, the laws have been broken. For 20 years, the hedonists have been aiding and abetting the law-breakers. In some cases, the extortion from Phuket resorts has made some scammers quite wealthy. That is the problem. It's illegal.

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Public beach? In Hua Hin of all places, you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas. There was a clearance but they are back again.

Posted by Martijn on November 30, 2014 16:36

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With respect Ambassadors have been saying the same thing for years. Maybe all these various foreign consoles should advise their fellow citizens the advice of when visiting Thailand and especially Phuket, avoid tuk tuks, jet skis,touts etc .No demand and the supply will disappear.

Posted by MARTI on December 14, 2014 15:26


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