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Consul-General Xu Mingliang wants Bangkok to invest in Phuket's progress

Phuket 'Must Do More to Protect Tourists'

Thursday, May 31, 2012
PHUKET: Chinese Consul-General Xu Mingliang says a lot has changed on Phuket since he first visited in 1988. But he says it's a pity some other things have not changed - like the quality of the roads in Patong and the spaghetti hanging from power poles.

As Phuketwan reported back on March 29, the consul-general wants to shift the Chinese consulate from Had Yai to Phuket because of the vast numbers of Chinese tourists now visiting Phuket.

What's needed still is for the Phuket provincial government to send a letter requesting the transfer, he said.

And Mr Xu said he wants Chinese tourists to be looked after properly when they reach Phuket, Mr Xu told Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada in a frank meeting at Provincial Hall in Phuket City.

The national government really should invest more on making Phuket appealing and safe, Mr Xu said.

Given that Chinese tourists are now coming in hundreds of thousands to Phuket, Mr Xu probably has more influence than most other envoys in pressing for changes.

What he wants to see is more Chinese language signs for tourists, beginning with Phuket International Airport. He would also like to see explanations of the lifeguard beach flag warnings in every room in every resort.

''Some of our people come from provinces where they have never had the chance to see the sea,'' Mr Xu said. ''They need to be told what to do as protection.''

He said that because Chinese tourists were from ''many levels of quality'' there would inevitably be times when tourists found themselves in trouble on Phuket.

''We aim to do what we can to inform people that arguing and disputes are not part of the culture on Phuket,'' he said.

He also said that the quality of equipment in some diving operatrions needed to be improved.

On what he had seen from video evidence, a Chinese woman who died in a diving incident off Phi Phi on March 11 died because of faulty oxygen equipment, he said.

''Many Chinese visitors enjoy snorkelling and diving,'' he added. ''We want them to be safe and we want all tourists visiting Phuket and the region to be safe.''

He said it was time perhaps for contracts to set out who takes responsibility for problems that occur, and who will pay compensation in such cases.

Proper insurance was an essential, on Phuket and in other holiday destinations, he said.

There were three cases recently where the maximum payout in three cases of deaths was one million baht - hardly enough, and the families in each cases needed more.

Mr Xu suggested a Phuket tax to establish a special fund that would become available to help Phuket tourists in difficulty.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I would hate to see a new tax to pay for "tourists in trouble". It's probably more important to educate people to avoid the common pitfalls and hold those who take advantage of tourists to account for their actions.

Posted by Ty on June 1, 2012 00:05

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"Mr Xu suggested a Phuket tax to establish a special fund that would become available to help Phuket tourists in difficulty."

Don't they sell holiday insurance in China? Why should people who live in Phuket pay a tax for tourists? Good luck with that Mr. Xu!

Posted by Jim McGowan on June 1, 2012 03:59

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The red flags are not a support message for communist countries they mean danger.
multiple languages on everything would not be practical to avoid any confusion a imprint on the flags of the international behaviour sign no swimming or whatever the intention is
(type with diagnal line thru it)would have great merit these behavioural type signs were invented for the very purpose of crossing all language barriers and they work well.

Posted by traveller on June 1, 2012 07:46

Editor Comment:

I don't think it can be said they ''work well,'' traveller. Adding messages to the flags serves little purpose on days when the wind doesn't blow strongly enough for people to see what's on the flags. There are also not flags everywhere. Saving lives should begin with a video on every flight as it descends to Phuket and continue at check-in with a few words in the appropriate language to EVERY arriving guest. Then if the red flags are ignored, the resorts and Phuket authorities have at least done as much as they can.

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Bravo Mr. Editor! "Saving lives should begin with a video on every flight as it descends to Phuket and continue at check-in with a few words in the appropriate language to EVERY arriving guest. Then if the red flags are ignored, the resorts and Phuket authorities have at least done as much as they can".

Safety is so important and so simple. As the Editor stated, simple video on aircraft before landing at Phuket airport, and at Check-In. I believe in printed warnings at hotels in English/Thai/Chinese/Russian to be hung on the wall of each hotel room no matter the type of hotel. Education is simple and should be the top priority of Phuket.

Posted by EsterW on June 1, 2012 11:11

Editor Comment:

Yes. However, in my experience, people beginning a holiday are inundated with so much written material that written warnings stand next to no chance of being read. Warnings on the backs of doors . . . hmm. People on holidays are usually too busy going through them.

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Well the red flag is an international sign on beaches all over the world. I think it's your own responsability to inform yourselfs about your host country and the dangers you might meet.

Posted by Domi on June 1, 2012 13:13

Editor Comment:

That responsibility extends to the resorts who market Phuket as a year-round beach holiday swimming destination. People who have never seen the sea or a beach are especially at risk and unlikely to know ''international'' signs.

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Agree with the video but no airline has the political acremen to do it and wont unless enforced by law,i think behavourial signs have just caught on in thailand and i stand by them as they cross all language barriers, in australia no tourist has a problem interpreting the behavorial signs no swimming crocodiles, we are all looking for a solution as the road toll and the drowning toll is highly over represented on phuket
in comparison to elsewhere, Airlines resorts holliday brochures an authoritys have a moral responsibily to inform of these issues but no legal one or the apparent political will to do so meanwhile the body count continues, its forums like this and media that show the will of the people that promotes change, Phuket wan excells in open and public opinion hats off to you.

Posted by traveller on June 2, 2012 10:01

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Was there a report of the death of the Chinese woman off Phi Phi?

Posted by Anonymous on June 2, 2012 11:56

Editor Comment:

We didn't hear about it.

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Can I also suggest red and yellow flags that mean "OK" are confusing when red means "Danger." In all countries, green means OK so why not use green? On signs the swimmer icon with a red circle and a slash through would be universally recognized. Simple. I also suggest making it clear rip tides are the real and unseen danger, not just larger waves.

Posted by Media Watcher on June 5, 2012 08:05

Editor Comment:

Well, it's nice to see red and yellow together for once for a useful purpose. The colors are the traditional arrangement that works in Australia, where their meaning is well understood. You're right about the need for a more universal approach.


Wednesday October 5, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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