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Phuket Local Taxi Drivers Seek Deal at New Resort

Phuket Local Taxi Drivers Seek Deal at New Resort

Saturday, October 2, 2010
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LOCAL TAXI and tuk-tuk representatives met with management at the Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa, Phuket, yesterday to discuss how the two could best work together.

The new, stylish resort has just opened on Siray Island, east of Phuket City. The Westin is the latest to be approached to join in an arrangement that would allow local drivers to establish a virtual monopoly on transporting guests around Phuket.

Phuketwan believes that the delegation was planning to request that 70 local drivers of all types of vehicles be permitted by management to pick up guests at the hotel on an exclusive basis.

Three driver representatives were escorted through the resort lobby to meet with management yesterday afternoon.

The Westin opened in August. Most resorts on Phuket are invited to enter into this kind of arrangement soon after they open for business.

A meeting of the governor's special committee on transport was told on Tuesday that as well as having 1158 registered tuk-tuks and more than 300 metred taxis, limousines and minibuses, Phuket also has about 5000 illegal ''black'' taxis.

The tuk-tuks, taxis and motorcycle taxis constitute Phuket's main form of transport, especially after sunset when the island's antique and low-fare seung taew buses stop running.

People within the tourism industry say the biggest source of complaints by tourists who visit Phuket remains the high fares demanded by tuk-tuks and taxis, both registered and unregistered.

Many people who are ripped off avoid Phuket in future and instead go to other destinations, say travel agents, tourism industry officials and resort managers.

Prices for trips from Siray Island to various points around Phuket, listed at the taxi stand just beyond the Westin boom gate, includes the following (for taxis/vans): to Phuket Town 300/500 baht; to Big C Lotus Central 400/600 baht; to Chalong 500/700 baht; to Patong 600/800 baht; to airport 800/1000 baht; to Surin beach 800/1000 baht; to Big Buddha 800/1000 baht; to Khao Lak 2500/2700 baht.

Until recently, US warships anchored at Phuket as the favored port in Thailand for shore leave, boosting the Phuket economy considerably. Visits tapered off after a series of blockades by local taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, who objected to buses shuttling US service personnel from the deep sea port at Cape Panwa to Patong.

Blockades have also been applied by drivers based at Phuket International Airport at times when disputes have arisen about fares or the number of vehicles permitted to access the airport.
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Comments

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Siray to Phuket town 300 baht - that's a joke. monopolies don't work. many countries have tried and failed, including Thailand. its banned in big business, why not in small business as well ?

I travel the world as part of my job in brasil now already met a few people who have been to Phuket: usual statement, beautiful place (nice women) rip off merchants and taxis

Posted by Michael on October 2, 2010 08:01

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Less than five kilometers into town, and they want 300 baht each way. That makes Patong at 20 kilometers seem like a deal at 600 baht each way.

Phuket will never be known for cheap transport options, no matter how loud people shout.

Posted by Treelover on October 2, 2010 08:08

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There is a big reason why so many tourist are renting motor bikes and so many are getting hurt on Phuket roads.

With no real transportation plan, it will only get worse.
I hope the new Governor can make some real positive changes and not just talk about it. Enough talk. Action!!!!

Posted by James on October 2, 2010 09:36

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Local administrations should support competition in local transportation and in particulars metered taxis which are a valid system all around the world except on Phuket.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on October 2, 2010 10:02

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Monopolies only work for a short time, but that's all these people care about.

As for the new governor doing anything about it! Ha, ha, dream on! He's got as much power over these gangs as the last one had: zip!

Posted by Mike Boyd on October 2, 2010 13:21

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Shame on Phuket

Posted by Lord Jim on October 2, 2010 13:21

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SOLUTION....meter taxis...every TAXI In Phuket has to be fitted with a METER that is tested and calibrated by a GOVERNMENT official department on a regular basis..no other taxis should be allowed to pick up passengers...and a good local bus service that goes all over the Island.... I AM DREAMING....

Posted by barka on October 2, 2010 13:43

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as usual, most people who contribute to articles like this, have feasible ideas that would work, no doubt....but unfortunately, it will never come to fruition since corruption still over rides logic on this island.....not to worry though as it's only a matter of time before they cut their own throats....

Posted by sky on October 2, 2010 16:26

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Five years ago same stories....Taxi METERS!!!!!!! is all i have to say

Posted by Sam Kelly on October 2, 2010 16:32

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The 10-baht-bus works in Phuket City as we could read recently - it would also work from beach to beach, wouldn't it?

Posted by herbert on October 2, 2010 18:40

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What a tourist destination as Phuket needs is buses between the beaches, to make it easy and cheap for tourists to travel between the beaches.

I remember the last time someone tried that here the driver got beaten up on its first run by the tuk tuk mob.

Sadly, it will never change.

Posted by Nick on October 2, 2010 19:25

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It's not a monopoly, it's extortion 1

Posted by Mike on October 7, 2010 06:26


Tuesday April 23, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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