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Phuket Corruption: Europe Leads the Charge for Change

Thursday, November 24, 2011
PHUKET: It's two years this week since the then newly-appointed honorary consul for Norway, Pornphan Sittichaivijit, began her role in a bright new office space on Phuket.

Today she is as convinced as ever that corruption on Phuket needs to be combatted if the island is to have the kind of prosperous future as an international destination that everyone wants.

Khun Pornphan will be among the mix of Thai and expat consuls pushing today for changes on Phuket when they meet with Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha and other Phuket community leaders.

''There is no point in pretending we are concerned about 'green tourism' if we don't do it,'' she said in an interview with Phuketwan.

''Norwegians are like every other grouip of visitors. They need to feel safe and secure when they visit Phuket. They need to know they are not being ripped off. They also love nature.

''High tuk-tuk and taxi fares, jet-ski scams and other problems must be solved on Phuket.''

Khun Pornphan believes the quarterly meetings between Phuket's honorary consuls have generated a broader understanding of what needs to happen for Phuket to remain prosperous, and she hopes local people also stand up for change.

''Local government needs to tame corruption and the rip-offs involving tourists,'' she says.

Norwegians enjoyed peaceful, natural places, she added, so the trend has been for them to stay in Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala and Nai Harn for shorter periods and then head towards more remote parts of Phang Nga and Krabi.

Scandinavia is better represented at the honorary consuls' meeting than any other part of the world, with Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark all having consuls on Phuket, along with near-neighbors Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and France.

Consuls from Britain, Ireland, Italy, Estonia and the Czech Republic give the meetings a powerful European emphasis.

Ambassadors from European nations in Bangkok have taken up the calls of the honorary consuls for change and are expected to press the new government for the action that has been promised in two years of meetings.

The Norwegian honorary consul can be contacted via telephone 076 237156 or e: norconpt@phuket.ksc.co.th The consulate in Phuket City is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

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Wednesday September 22, 2021
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