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Mayor Ma-Ann Samran: private events on public beaches will be beneficial

Phuket New Year Party Gains Go-Ahead

Saturday, December 1, 2012
PHUKET: The Paris Hilton two-day New Year party will go ahead on Phuket's Surin beach, local mayor Ma-Ann Samran said today.

He said the person who has signed off as taking responsibility for the December 30-January 1 event is the local council's top administrator, the Permanent Secretary of Cherng Talay.

The World Class Electronic Music Festival aims to attract 50,000 fans to a beach where families from all over the world traditionally spend a relaxing Christmas-New Year at nearby Surin resorts.

When asked today whether approval for the party by a local official meant that Phuket's public beaches could be used by anyone to hold private events, Mayor Ma-Ann said: ''Yes. I don't care about high-end customers. My only interest is the people selling on the beaches.''

Although approval for the huge event has been delegated to the local council, Phuket Governor Governor Maitree Inthusud remains responsible for the safety and security of all residents and visitors on Phuket.

He reassures English-language readers in a monthly newspaper column today, writing: ''With the tourism industry growing at 10 percent per year, the safety of tourists and residents must be our top priority.''

Approval of the party by a local official appears to mean that any of the 18 councils on Phuket with a beach in its jurisdiction can approve any private event on a public beach, no matter how massive.

Mayor Ma-Ann, elected last year to the position for the first time, predicts that the character of Phuket's beaches may have to change to suit the needs of local beach vendors.

He noted life's capacity to bring change. Referring to Thailand's recent Prime Ministers, he said: ''If we pick up Yingluck [Shinawatra] instead of Apisit [Vejjajiva], next time we will pick up Apisit and lose Yingluck. It's swings and roundabouts.''

General managers of some of Phuket's best-known resorts and villa developments around Surin objected to the party, which was only announced in late October. Surin resorts are usually fully booked with regular customers between Christmas and New Year.

News of the event has triggered cancellations and started Phuket hoteliers wondering whether local officials and the New Year party organisers understand Phuket tourism, which does not rely on ''swings and roundabouts'' but certainty and regular customers.

In his column today, Governor Maitree writes: ''What has impressed me during my first seven weeks as governor is the strong bonds between the private sector, non-governmental organisations and local government.

''So many good projects that benefit society have been undertaken by this cooperation.''

Comments

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Incredible. Words fail me.

Posted by mike on December 1, 2012 13:52

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By their inaction Phuket authorities have put themselves in this position, where it has become nearly impossible to reject permission.

Posted by stevenl on December 1, 2012 14:18

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Remember, it's only a question of money, nothing else :)

Posted by Tom on December 1, 2012 14:22

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Shocking words and shocking attitude from our authorities which shows clearly that sustainable tourism is (and most properly never was) on the agenda.
But I also like to say thank you to the local mayor to say openly what so many leaders truly really but never say!

Its another nail in the coffin of a former tropical paradise....

Posted by Mr. K on December 1, 2012 14:40

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'High end customers are truly overrated. My only interest is people who vote and pay for me. And I am in it for maybe 4-8 years tops.'

Totally understandable. Nothing to say against.

Posted by Lena on December 1, 2012 14:59

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Good-bye Surin.

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on December 1, 2012 15:16

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What a sad day the Phuket that I have grown to love is going down the tubes. Why can't people understand that some people work all year to save for two weeks of peace and quite choosing to spend it in Surin area, it's not that they are kill joys people who want all that electronic stuff never came to Surin that's why they all come back year after year.
When is Phuket going to see what it is doing to what was a beautiful island please leave some of it for people who just want peace and quiet. I will wait with interest to see what happens now . The you tube film did not help either - helicopters, floating tables chartered planes bringing people in, I wait for the 2nd you tube video with bated breath.

Posted by Granitebeetle on December 1, 2012 15:17

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It must feel for the local mayor to be a complete sellout. Bought by the highest bidder.

Posted by Anonny mouse on December 1, 2012 15:26

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''If we pick up Yingluck [Shinawatra] instead of Apisit [Vejjajiva], next time we will pick up Apisit and lose Yingluck. It's swings and roundabouts.''

Yeah totally applicable to this case at hand and makes all the sense in the world !!

Posted by LivinLOS on December 1, 2012 15:52

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Can someone please explain what the mayor is talking about? Seems as if he was interviewed about something completely different.
Good for him though..doing something about the #1 tourist complaint, vendors on the beach!! pff.

Posted by Vfaye on December 1, 2012 16:04

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Bang goes the cosy Wedding plans as mentioned recently in your paper.

Sad when money rules the roost.

Posted by Gregg P Cornell on December 1, 2012 16:18

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Another significant nail in the Phuket coffin. His comment that he does not care about 'high end tourists' flies in the face of endeavors by others to upgrade Phuket. Sadly, we all know the truth: 'Money talks, sanity walks!' Live for today & tomorrow can take care of itself.

Posted by Logic on December 1, 2012 16:20

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Granitbeetle, go to Khaolak, Krabi. Or check Boracay next time. Phuket is becoming The New Asia Ballermann.

Posted by Lena on December 1, 2012 16:37

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"Mayor Ma-Ann predicts that the character of Phuket's beaches may have to change to suit the needs of local beach vendors."

@Lena. Wasn't it smarter to suit the beaches for the needs of the people who are supposed to feed the vendors?

This is a natural food chain: Tourists - vendors - mayors. If the first link disappears we are back to a poor fishing village, which don't use mayors.

Posted by Sherlock on December 1, 2012 16:50

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Money talks, anything goes here for the right price

Posted by Scunner on December 1, 2012 17:37

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Just hope the organizers also have a floating hospital for all the bodies...
Also keen to know where 50 000 pax are going to ablute, and where the garbage is supposed to go???? It doesn't seem to move far at the best of times.
Be careful is all I can say - this could be one more disaster on Phuket's hit list. How very sad!

Posted by MR D on December 1, 2012 17:49

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Sherlock, why should there be no tourists? They want more, not the little amount of high enders, who anyway do not buy too much stuff outside their resorts and central or jungceylon. Party folk use cheap massage, buy vapor ware... So the mayor has to do, what he thinks serves his constiuance best. That are not the five star owners. So if he thinks to downmarket the surin area is better, he is free to do so.

Here you see the perfect example, what happens when there are different intentions to use a property. One might think that one beach authority for all of Phuket would make a better job of keeping the beaches viable resources for the future, but right now if a voted in mayor has the power to decide, then it's his to do in light of the needs of his constituency. It is his obligation to do so.

Personally I am astonished that he thinks that is a smart move. But what do I know...

Can't wait to see the 80 meter limit scraped...

Posted by Lena on December 1, 2012 19:12

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The sad part is there's really nothing new or unexpected in this news.

Only difference is that this Mayor was much more blunt about it.

Turn the beaches into shopping malls. Just what the customers want.

Some of the hotels in this area are not only locally famous but also internationally among the best in the world. Their customers are influential people and will carry the message further than you average package tourist could.

" Yes. I don't care about the high-end customers "

I'm sure that message will be heard loud and clear.

I wonder what the local TAT chief who tries to lure high-end tourists to Phuket has to say about that.

Posted by Andrew on December 1, 2012 19:48

Editor Comment:

We also wonder what the governor has to say.

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lol
What a joke. They should have scheduled this party during low season instead of kicking the high-end tourists between the legs and laughing.
They should just put up a sign... "Everything, and we mean everything, is on sale in Thailand"

Posted by Anonymous on December 1, 2012 20:51

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I think it is beyond Mickey Mouse governance that this huge event is going ahead with little notice, or planning,( and is not " Paris Hilton's party, seems she was but a paid model for the announcement, essentially, ) but I think surely the hotels will be able to fill any vacancies and will probably charge double what they would have gotten.

Posted by Media Watcher on December 2, 2012 09:02

Editor Comment:

Paris Hilton's photograph is on the organiser's site so they are intent on using her to promote the party. Talk of resorts getting double is plain Goofy.

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High End Tourists ???

i dont see many of them going around.

Posted by stanley on December 2, 2012 10:35

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Let us hope that someone at the head office of Thai tourism or the Thai government sees what's been said about high end tourists and has him reprimanded.

Posted by Scunner on December 2, 2012 23:48


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