By increasing ease of access from the air and improving Phuket's public transport.
PHUKET airport is being enlarged and expanded but Phuket's popularity is growing even faster. With 8.4 million passengers in 2011 through an airport built for 6.5 million and a record one million-plus arrivals and departures on Phuket in January alone, the airport enlargement to cope with 12.5 million passengers in mid-2015 may not be enough. The airport is Phuket's most important piece of infrastructure. There has been no inkling yet as to what the plan might be beyond mid-2015. Phuket and the Andaman's tourism future relies on that vision.
WHETHER it's entirely accurate or not, we are still struck by the consultants who were allegedly asked to draw up a public transport plan for Phuket and who came back saying: ''There's no need for public transport on Phuket. Everyone on Phuket uses their own motorcycles.'' Phuket has one recent public transport success story. The pink bus service that operates using traditional seung taews to crisscross Phuket City on the east coast, provides safe, low-cost transport for travellers in that part of the island. Developing equally successful solutions for all of Phuket is the objective now. Getting around by tuk-tuks or taxis on Phuket can be hideously expensive, yet fares and standards matching those of Bangkok are what tourists demand and deserve. A major rethink is required. It's a shame the issue has been left for so long.
Nine down, one final important point to make soon in Phuketwan's PHUKET 10/10 series.