PHUKET: Phuket was a small island with complicated problems, Governor Maitree Intrusud told a meeting of people interested in property today.
He told the seminar by the Phuket Real Estate Association that this posed a challenge.
''Phuket needs connecting activities, including transport on land and sea,'' he said. ''Phuket airport is very busy.
''We really don't have a low season, just a green season. At this time of the year, there are still 25,000 to 26,000 passengers a day.''
The governor opened the seminar then had to leave for ''a very important meeting'' at Mai Khao with the European Union ministers.
''We aim to work closely with the private sector,'' he said.
The Permanent Secretary of Thailand's Transport Ministry, Prasert Janrungtong, told the gathering at the Merling Hotel in Phuket City that he had an interesting experience.
''I was taken for a drive around Phuket and discovered that it's true, Phuket has a huge traffic issue,'' he said.
''It's likely to grow worse and worse as more tourists come and the average registration of new cars on Phuket is now 1500 each month.''
Attempts were being made to reduce accidents, he said. ''Eighty percent of movements are by road around Thailand,'' he said.
''In the next five years we hope to increase the number travelling by sea from 12 percent up to 19 percent. On Phuket, we worry about the growing numbers living here and working here.
''The number keeps growing, whether the people are tourists or residents. Everything is increasing - but possibly at the cost of happiness.
''Pollution is another factor, and we have to try to prevent that.'' Phuket still has people who come back two or three times for visits, he said.
Property people would prefer to have the roads fixed rather than attempt to move people around Phuket on the water, judging from the mood of the meeting.
The meeting is continuing.