Connect with us

Opinion

OPINION: Phuket looking ahead to 2010

Published

 on 

OPINION: Phuket looking ahead to 2010 | Thaiger

PHUKET: As 2009 draws to a close, it would be easy – very easy – to highlight issues which remain thorns in the sides of Phuket’s expatriates. Negatives almost always trump the positives in the world of news. However, it is encouraging to see that Phuket has made progress toward the island’s continued development not only as an international tourist destination, but also as a desirable and cosmopolitan place in which to live.

The island’s infrastructure is getting some of the attention it requires and there is a growing trend toward going green. The Gazette‘s ‘Person’ of the Year Award for community service went with great enthusiasm to three individuals who focused on the environment by driving the current campaign to curtail the profligate use of plastic bags.

Perhaps one of the most significant steps towards improving the tourist experience on the island was the implementation of measures to help ring down the curtain on more than a decade of jet-ski scams, an issue that has received frequent worldwide coverage thanks to TV and video websites.

It has been most encouraging to see action taken on a provincial level, spearheaded by Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop, to mitigate the issue, which in the past left untold numbers of tourists feeling cheated and vowing never to return to Phuket.

Full-time lifeguards, life-saving equipment and signs in English warning of seasonal rip currents also appeared on Phuket’s most popular tourist beaches for the first time, although we have to acknowledge with sadness that over the past few weeks beach safety has lost some of its prominence as a government priority. Nevertheless, there is a limit to what the authorities can do to ensure tourists’ safety when swimmers decide to ignore the red flags and advice of the lifeguards.

In October, this writer watched a European man walk past a red flag on the beach and wade straight into a rip current while his concerned girlfriend looked on from the shore. Within seconds, the man was dragged more than 100 meters out to sea. He barely made it back to the beach.

The launch of the Gazette‘s online forum, enabling readers to add their comments to news stories, has revealed a great deal about what really matters to the average expatriate resident and frequent visitors to Phuket.

News stories such as the Nanai Road flooding attracted many more readers and comments than updates about the tsunami warning system and the new detection buoy.

Readers frequently demand that the Gazette ‘do something’ by wading into battle on their behalf with government agencies, retailers, tuk-tuk drivers, and many others. While such intermediation in disputes or other grievances is clearly outside the purview of a community newspaper, we do attempt to highlight in our pages those issues which appear to weigh heavily on the minds of large numbers of our readers. (See the ‘Letters’ page in any of our weekly editions.)

As the world marks the fifth anniversary of the 2004 tsunami, the horrific event is of course receiving wide coverage in reviews and perspectives put forth by media all over the globe. Here in Phuket, anniversary ceremonies and minutes of silence were observed all over the island yesterday.

And today we think it’s safe to say that the ‘ethos’ of the vast majority of Phuketians is anchored in the future or the present, no longer so heavily in that nightmare of the past.

Please do have a happy New Year!

— Nick Davies

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Guides7 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Where to get vegan desserts in Bangkok 2022

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 36 dead in a mass shooting at a nursery in northeast Thailand

Guides9 hours ago

5 best wine bars in Bangkok offering rich and quality wine

Sponsored15 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

North East9 hours ago

Hip businesses in northeast Thai province offer tasty food and fun experiences

Crime9 hours ago

British CEO arrested at Bangkok Airport over 40 million baht fraud accusations

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand’s 5 national parks raise entry fees for foreigners by 100%

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok9 hours ago

Ari around invites Ari people to share good deeds through the app.

Press Room10 hours ago

Where to order cannabis/weed in Thailand

Chon Buri10 hours ago

Trouserless Chon Buri man crashes car into power pole

Entertainment10 hours ago

‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

Thailand10 hours ago

Reported Bangkok VIP casino vanishes into thin air

World10 hours ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Crime10 hours ago

Mass shooting in Thailand: 36 dead, including 24 children, 12 injured

Thailand10 hours ago

9 Thais arrested in South Korea for smuggling drugs

Drugs11 hours ago

Police snag 2.5 meth pills in checkpoint stings

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending