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Phuket expat Paul Moorhouse talked of rip-off tuk-tuks and untrained lifeguards

Phuket Fightback: Island Bids to Save Thailand

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
FINANCE Minister Korn Jatikawanit will be flying back to besieged Bangkok tonight after a group of Phuket's business leaders gave him plenty of good advice to boost tourism's recovery.

While holiday flights are still coming to Phuket, Khun Korn heard today that forward bookings for May are at 12 percent and for June at 19 percent. Normally they would both be at 50 percent at this time.

Developer and long-term Phuket expat resident Paul Moorhouse told Khun Korn in a direct manner about the tuk-tuk rip-offs and the lack of trained beach guards, and the fact that many essential aspects of life on Phuket for residents and tourists alike fail to measure up to international standards.

Khun Korn directed Phuket Governor Wichai Praisa-ngob to solve the problems, a task both men must surely recognise as easier said than done.

The main objective, though, of the meeting involving Khun Korn and 40 Phuket business leaders at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa was to offer constructive ideas for the recovery of tourism.

Mathee Tanmanatragul, immediate past-president of the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association, told Phuketwan after the meeting that Phuket was like the eldest son in a family struck down by illness: the island needs the whole nation's support to act as bread-winner until the rest of the family recovers.

''Don't make it [Thailand's tourism industry] all disappear,'' Khun Mathee said Khun Korn was told.

He said it is to be hoped that Khun Korn goes back to Bangkok and makes the case for Phuket to be given the lion's share of the recovery budget of 1.6 billion baht that will become available to help tourism recover quickly - once the crisis ends.

''Let Phuket and the Andaman do the work,'' Khun Mathee said. ''We know the problem best and we know how to solve it best.

''The road to recovery this time will not be as short as last time,'' Khun Mathee said. While the 2008 invasion of Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok was damaging, he said, the level of travel advisories then was much lower and not so difficult to overcome.

''This time the adverse travel advisories are stronger and from more than 40 countries, including a lot of our biggest supporters,'' Khun Mathee said.

The road back had become ''fearsome'' because of the deaths and injuries in Bangkok and the prospect of continued conflict, with no end in sight. ''The government doesn't seem to have the right formula,'' he said.

Above all, Phuket needed desperately to maintain its precious direct flights. ''If we don't do something, they will go somewhere else,'' he said. ''It will be up to the consumer to decide.''

He said there was no question of divorcing Phuket from Thailand. But Phuket, because it remained the safest and most secure destination in the country, could and should certainly lead the recovery of all of Thailand.

Khun Korn is on a flight from Phuket back to Bangkok at 8pm.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


Paul, at last, finally at long last someone's had the balls not to mince his words any longer.

Phuket was and still is becoming a basket case in the tourism industry.

What would be given the highest priority in any other top world class holiday resort, safety and transportation, are held to ransom by a few individuals who seemingly are only concerned about their own interests.

Posted by John on April 28, 2010 19:58


Recovery money for Phuket? Wishful thinking. If there is a recovery fund, it will go first to revive business in Bkk, thats pretty obvious, so be prepared for a long low season, increased tuk tuk prices, because less people means higher day things will look better again, just not sure when the day comes

The message should go out now that is still perfectly safe to fly to all southern beach destinations, Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi and Samui.

Posted by wm on April 29, 2010 15:55

Saturday January 23, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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