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A blockade by tuk-tuk drivers in January when Pegas was accused

Phuket Tuk-Tuks, Taxis Taking on Pegas T

Friday, July 19, 2013
PHUKET: Tuk-tuk and taxi drivers on Phuket are pressing for a greater share of the tour business and have confronted Pegas T buses twice this week to stake their claims.

The first bus was stopped on Wednesday in Kata-Karon while tuk-tuk and taxi drivers argued with the driver.

In a second confrontation the following day with a bus loaded with tourists, residents who saw what was happening called police.

A meeting held today at the Kata-Karon Council offices between the taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, council officers, the Mayor, Pegas T representatives and police broke up without a resolution.

The taxi and tuk-tuk drivers of Kata-Karon have made it plain that they want a greater share of the tour market.

Phuketwan has been told that they are angling especially to take tourists to attractions where commissions are offered.

They say they are not looking to carry passengers who have booked tours before arriving on Phuket, but those who want to make trips here.

The bid by the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers to take greater control of tourism transport in the Kata-Karon region is likely to alarm local resort managers and drive tourists into staying in other parts of Phuket.

The drivers of Kata-Karon have already made it plain that they will blockade the airport bus if it extends one day from the Airport to Patong to Kata-Karon.

The bus began a service today from Phuket International Airport as far as Patong.

Next week, a Department of Special Investigations team arrives on Phuket with the specific task of cleaning up Phuket's tourism problems.

Top of the list of complaints by tourists are the taxis and tuk-tuks because of their excessive fares and intimidating behavior.

Just how tuk-tuk and taxis can expect to act as guides when their Russian language skills are limited has yet to be made plain by the drivers.

Pegas T, a Turkish firm that specialises in carrying Russian tourists on Phuket and elsewhere in Thailand, has previously been targetted in a blockade outside the Karon Police Station.

A consultant with the company, Palat Chantarasorin, said today after the meeting: ''Everybody [the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers] just wants to make money.

''Everybody is too greedy. They don't care how the tourists feel or how they travel.''

It's understood that police wanted the issue resolved for good at today's meeting but there was no agreement.

Khun Palat believes there are no real controls over the number of tuk-tuks and taxi drivers and that there will be more and more as the group gains greater power.

Virtually all the car parking spots in Kata-Karon have been taken over by tuk-tuk and taxi drivers but the group refuses to consider a call centre as an alternative.

Tourists pay double the real fare because on Phuket, all tuk-tuks and taxis are required to return empty to their home bases. Picking up passengers from another ''village'' is not permitted.

The tuk-tuk and taxi monopoly is the single largest threat to Phuket tourism but authorities have always been intimidated by the drivers. There is no sign of their power being diminished.

Larger-sized tuk-tuks are being introduced to replace all existing tuk-tuks and their extra size will make Phuket's streets even more difficult to negotiate.

No date has been set for another meeting.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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"By Phuketwan Reporters "
scared, phuketwan???
no names anymore

Posted by bilbo on July 19, 2013 18:19

Editor Comment:

Coming from someone called ''bilbo,'' that's a joke.
We use ''Phuketwan Reporters'' when there are too many names to fit in the space.

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well here we go again..It's amazing how a group of bullies have designated themselves as mayor, governor, sherriff,president, judge, of all of Kata Karon..and nobody in this lovely land of smiles will stand toe to toe with them and remind them of what they really are as well as what the can and cannot do.

Posted by zig on July 19, 2013 19:19

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Amazing the amount of commission zoo is 500 baht per person and funny thing is the tourists may have just wanted to get a taxi and get overcharged for that plus an extra 500 per person for the zoo it's amazing how deep it goes saw the jewelry store was packed with buses not surprising when they pay 30 percent commission and I think money just for bringing potential customers

Posted by Michael on July 19, 2013 19:27

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DSI and Minister of Tourism and Sports should have fun when they raid Phuket next week.

Posted by larry on July 19, 2013 19:27

Editor Comment:

Corruption breeds corruption. The businesses that offer commissions - the money that the tuk-tuk and taxi drivers now want - really should think again. Those commissions are added to their prices. How odd that no authorities on Phuket have figured this out. As with all illegitimate practices, it's the tourist who pays the extra.

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Well this just confirms to me why i and my friends are holidaying else ware. I decided after my last trip 3yrs ago to give my money elsewhere.

I was warned then about the Tuck Tuck's and taxi's in both Kata and Patong, along with the jet ski hire.

i have been back to Thailand several times but not to Phukett and have no intention of doing so.

i have lots of people that know i have experience of traveling LOS and when asked i direct them elsewhere, If the realy want to go to Phukett my advise is book a motel in walking distance of everything and stay away from jetski's Tuck Tuck's and cabs.

Posted by Mike on July 19, 2013 19:37

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Nobody in business has a divine right to demand a slice of the market unless they are clean, cooperative & competitive.

Whatever your views are on Pegas, if that is a legally owned & operated company, how can the tuk tuks possibly get away with blockading & verbally assaulting them.

In my own experience & reading what others write, none of these 3 C's are applicable to the tuk tuks & taxi drivers. Many of the drivers dress like tramps; they are often rude & abusive; for sure they are grossly over priced.

Why do they think a multi-billion baht tourist industry will bow to their demands?

Tourists will vote with their hard earned currencies & go elsewhere. Maybe then, the real big operators will take some action against them. I am surprised it hasn't happened already.

Posted by Logic on July 19, 2013 20:21

Editor Comment:

This is, I suspect, Phuket's last chance as far as the European and Australian markets are concerned. Once the informed tourists quit a destination, many others will follow. Tourists are not well-served by a whole island that only appears to be concerned about money.

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editor you are totally correct. I know many who have quit phuket or about to do so because of the corruption and standover tactics by local thugs who are often protected by authorities. when will the thai mind comprehend " fair business" probably never in phuket. The price of a taxi has gone up from 750 baht to the airport from kata to 1000 baht or more in the last year alone. when questioned why .....gasoline more expensive,,, what a crock . please add because i want to rip you off another 25%. and I can. I do not care about what you think or what you say as today I can buy my " please insert anything" a special gift and eat all day and drink all night with my friends as I skyte about how I ripped off the " stupid farang"

Posted by gb on July 19, 2013 22:20

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Good ! Now phuket people include, shops,hoteliers whose ever earning money from tourist , your last chance was Russians and you make them fed up with you guys , yeah it's your turn to suffer now cause of tuk tuk people !
You let them to run away Europeans, scandinavians and other markets !! Congratulations , now you may turn back to your rice farms ;) good job

Posted by Oscar on July 19, 2013 23:57

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To the Edu ;
Do you have a issue with Pegas ? Each time you just mention this company name , just wondering, there are no other Russian companies running at phuket ? Or ?

Posted by Oscar on July 20, 2013 00:01

Editor Comment:

The tuk-tuk drivers' focus is on Pegas buses. It would be strange if the company made the brand so prominent and we ignored it. Our relations with Pegas management are cordial. Every time a bus runs into trouble on Patong Hill, we give them a call. By the way, Pegas is Turkish. Perhaps the other companies need to improve their marketing.

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The world has got wise to the realities of what is going on here and they will eventually vote with their feet

Posted by Anonymous on July 20, 2013 01:33

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Lets pray that this problem will ends cos it will Hurt phuket so bad that it will never recover.. well not all tourists will disapear but in the end everyone. from trafficpolice to the mayor will have no food on the table... coz of a bunch of greedy idiots.... this is realy the end of either Phuket or the Tuk Tuks.. pray brothers and sisters.

Posted by Frog on July 20, 2013 03:42

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"Editir Comment .... By the way, Pegas is Turkish." Where do you get your/this information, please?

Posted by Anonymous on July 20, 2013 08:58

Editor Comment:

From the owner.

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Bully tuktuk & taxi group vs suicidal pegas minivans & buses driven by lunatics... hard to know which group to root for.

Posted by john on July 20, 2013 13:55

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@Ed
Following your logic, GM Holden Ltd is a US Company, then?
That's interesting!

Posted by Anonymous on July 20, 2013 17:11

Editor Comment:

The Pegas connection with Russians came from catering to Russians holidaying in Turkey, which led them to do the same here. I guess that's too simple for you.

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(moderated)

Posted by Anonymous on July 20, 2013 17:53

Editor Comment:

We don't usually respond to commenters who have no names but in this case, you clearly need help. Please contact the Pegas Touristik chief in Bangkok. His name is Kubilay Atac. I believe he is Turkish.

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A lot of complaints on here, why don't you all do as I do and not go to Phuket. It has turned into a hole. There is much more to Thailand than rip off tourist areas.

Posted by Peter on July 21, 2013 07:22

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they want a lot just total control of all paid transport on wheels now they want tour bookings where they get commissions this is the end of the road for Phuket if someone with clout dont say no to these people.

Posted by slickmelb on July 21, 2013 09:29

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In my opinion, if tuk-tukers brought at least one tourist to Phuket themselves, they could have right to demand anything. Commissions actually cover losses that tour operator has when bringing tourist here. I don't see tuk-tukers are ready to cover this losses. They are even not grateful to tour companies, who supply tuk-tuks with its tourists.

Posted by Stranger on July 25, 2013 18:00

Editor Comment:

Indeed, tuk-tuk drivers have yet to send a marketing team anywhere on a Phuket roadshow to encourage people to come to Phuket to enjoy the pleasure of a ride in a traditional vehicle. They are takers, not givers. And they always want more.


Sunday August 18, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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