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Phuket Authorities Move to Fix Long Term Problems Faster

Friday, November 16, 2012
PHUKET: Problems that affected tourism on Phuket should be prevented from happening, Sarayuth Mallam, Vice President of the Phuket Tourist Association, said yesterday.

He told Governor Maitree Inthusud in a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City that incidents where tourists were victims spread rapidly around the world these days because of modern communications.

''Rip-offs, violent incidents involving tuk-tuks, robberies . . . these damage Phuket's image quickly,'' he said.

Phuket would be at maximum capacity within weeks and it was important to make sure that all tourists were safe while on the island, he said.

Governor Maitree had asked the meeting that included representatives of local authorities, the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Airports of Thailand, and the Thai Hotels Association, what were seen as Phuket's most immediate issues.

Khun Sarayuth went on from tourim safety to say that Phuket's signage was also a danger.

''There are so many billboards and so many confused forms of signage that people are often distracted as they drive and have to consult maps,'' he said.

He added that it was a pity the low-cost and efficient ''pinkie bus'' public network around Phuket City shuts down at 7pm each day.

''Tourists could certainly use the pinkie buses in the evening,'' he said.

In response, Phuket Land Transport Chief Teerayut Prasertpon said that the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation ran the buses as a non-profit service so any extension would cost the organisation more.

It was, he said, an essential service when motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks continued to ask inflated fares for people who needed to travel from the new bus station to transfer to the old bus station, which was now the home for all the island's bus networks.

Patong's Deputy Mayor, Chairat Sukban, said parking was already a problem on Patong's beach road with the high season still on the way.

''There are now tuk-tuks parked along both sides of beach road so tourists have nowhere to park,'' he said.

He also noted that construction on steep slopes on the coast road between Patong and Kalim would bring the risk of landslips and more serious falls unless the developers took precautions.

There were no longer white lines to be found down the middle of the coast road, he said, confusing motorists and making travel dangerousd because the road was already narrow, he said.

''And for two months, there have been no lights on one of Phuket's most dangerous roads, the route between Le Meridien in Patong and the Centara grand in karon,'' he said. ''The lights should be replaced quickly.''

Governor Maitree said he had noted that Phuket's roads were substandard for the large number of vehicles on Phuket.

He said he has a meeting with the Interior Minister in Bangkok next week and wanted to update him on what was happening on Phuket.

The regular monthly meetings sprang from deeper interest urged by honorary consuls and ambassadors last year in Phuket's affairs.

Governor Maitree said he planned to meet with yesterday's group once a month to try to solve as many Phuket problems as possible.

Phuketwan News Analysis


ALTHOUGH most tourists who come to Phuket can be guaranteed to have a great time, there are certainly still issues of tourism safety and security that must be addressed.

Phuket has been more fortunate that Krabi and Krabi's holiday island of Phi Phi, where authorites have been slow to learn the need for prevention and fast action in a crisis.

The rape case that angered a Dutch father so much that he made a video, 'Evil Man from Krabi,' continues to make news overseas.

And the mysterious deaths of four young women on Phi Phi will not be quickly forgotten. Here is the latest international report:

Your Daughter Died
YOU rushed to Thailand, hoping to save your child. But your daughter died just hours after your arrival. Your daughter died; she was only 23.
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/your-daughter-died//

Comments

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The people who attended this meeting are the ones who could sort things out if they wanted - let's hope we see action instead of the normal words. 20 minutes to get along beach road in Patong today due to illegally parked tuk tuks, the Boxing Stadium trucks crawling along at 5mph and construction traffic blocking the road.

Interesting to note the transport chief comments on exhorbitant prices - you'd think he would be the one in a position to sort it. Oops - I forgot, the exhorbitant prices were legitimised so they'r OK now!

Posted by Mister Ree on November 16, 2012 11:36

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"Phuket Land Transport Chief Teerayut Prasertpon said that the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation ran the buses as a non-profit service so any extension would cost the organisation more."

Of course extending its service times would make it cost more but it would also receive more revenue from fares. So it should stay at breaking even - zero loss and zero profit.

Posted by Buster on November 16, 2012 17:55


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