Connect with us

Opinion

OPINION: In defense of Phuket tourism

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

on

OPINION: In defense of Phuket tourism | The Thaiger

PHUKET: There is widespread support in Phuket for Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop’s idea to fit all taxis and tuk-tuks on the island with meters.

It is not possible to quantify the economic damage the tourism industry in Phuket has suffered from the notorious patchwork of transport syndicates that continue to operate in defiance of the law, colluding to keep passenger fares the highest in the country.

In the case of the infamous tuk-tuks serving our West Coast beach communities, the focal points of Phuket tourism, we offer some of the most expensive taxi rides in the world, well above such places as New York, London, Zurich, Hawaii, Nice, Sydney, etc.

This situation has unnecessarily held back a tourism industry that in most other aspects operates under free-market conditions.

While problems with the ‘services’ provided by tuk-tuks in the major tourist centers of Patong, Kata and Karon are well documented, another important factor driving up transport costs and creating friction among rival groups is the way taxi concessions are allotted at Phuket International Airport (PIA).

At a recent meeting there, Gov Wichai and Senator Thanyarat Achariyachai criticized the management of Airports of Thailand (AoT), which runs PIA, for the way it has dealt with taxi, limousine and minivan concessions. The pair said the company’s profit margins seemed to be their only concern, not the Phuket tourism industry or the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on it to make a living.

Under the urging of the provincial government, the AoT gradually broke the monopoly held for years by the Phuket Airport Limousine and Business Cooperative. This was achieved by allowing metered taxis, an airport bus, and finally rival taxi operator Phuket Mai Khao Sakoo to operate on airport grounds.

But the increased competition hasn’t translated into lower costs for most passengers because the AoT continues to charge excessive fees to all who operate out of the airport, or at least those who do so legally. That an estimated 200 ‘black plate’ taxis are also shuttling passengers to and from the airport gives some indication of just how excessive the fees are.

As mentioned in this space a few weeks ago, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is currently promoting the country as a value-for-money tourist destination under the increasingly dubious catchphrase ‘Amazing Thailand, Amazing Value’.

Unfortunately, problems in Phuket’s public transport sector drive up prices across the board, making the province less competitive than it should be and driving tourists, both foreign and domestic, to rival destinations, most notably Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bali.

Governor Wichai has reportedly asked the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to allow him to work past the mandatory retirement age of 60, which he will reach next month. We hope the MoI will seriously consider the request, as Mr Wichai may be the island’s only hope for giving tourists the kind of safe, reasonably priced transport options they have every right to expect.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing

The Thaiger

Published

on

“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing | The Thaiger

The rules are applied in a lumpy fashion at various tourist hot spots around the country as well as some national parks. Sometimes it’s applied, sometimes, not, sometimes there are signs, sometime they make it up as they go, sometimes they will allow local expats in for the Thai price.

There are dual-pricing apologists who say ‘Hey, it’s cheap anyway, so pay up and shut up’. Whilst dual-pricing whiners say it’s unfair, racist and shows a lack of grace towards tourists and foreigners.

Here’s the story from ‘Despondant Foreigner’. You can have your say on the post at our Facebook page

“I would like to share my story with you that happened to me this morning. I visited Promlok waterfall in Nakhon Si Thammaratt with my Thai wife, child and wife’s family. Upon arrival two soldiers approached our car and my wife began talking to them. They explained to her that as today is Songkran all Thai’s get to go to the waterfalls free of charge but I had to pay. Then a woman dressed in yellow approached the car who confirmed what the soldiers said and told my wife that this is a new law. Well we were all disgusted and proceeded to drive back down to the bottom of the waterfall where we could all swim for free.

I am absolutely disgusted by this. Yet another example of Thailand’s racial profiling and xenophobia towards foreigners. The fact that I am married and have children here doesn’t make a difference. Because I have white skin I must pay the fee whilst all Thais go in free.”

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

Continue Reading

Opinion

Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet

Bill Barnett

Published

on

Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, C9Hotelworks.com

As Phuket moves slowly into low season, a story published in the international media by the US-based Fox News about how tourists could face the death penalty over taking photos at the island’s airport is a highly flaw piece of sensationalist fake news.

Clearly there is no likelihood that the Thai authorities will apply a legal maximum penalty under the Air Navigation Act for tourists posing for selfies as airplanes land. More likely would be a  charge of trespassing and a fine.

Clicking into Google this morning the story is now running with the New York Post, MSN and other news outlets abroad.

What is distressing is to see how news providers sensationalize Thailand and Phuket with little regard as to the consequences of the economic impact of such a story.

For most readers, what they will remember when reading such a piece is only the headline about Phuket, Mai Khao Beach and the death penalty.

What a sorry state of affairs mainstream news has become.

To read the Fox News article clock HERE.

Continue Reading

Election

Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision?

The Thaiger

Published

on

Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision? | The Thaiger

Is Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit a popular fad or does he, and his party, have the staying power to make him a sustainable threat to the entrenched Thai political elite?

Many analysts are comparing Thanathorn to Thaksin in his early days. They say there are clear similarities. First off, Thanathorn is facing the kind of legal trouble that Thaksin faced when Thailand’s political crisis started to brew.

After becoming Thailand’s PM, Thaksin faced a share transfer scandal in which he moved his company shares to poor servants, allegedly to avoid stock market restrictions imposed on people owning big lots of stocks. Now, 40 year old Thanathorn is facing a legal controversy over his previous ownership of media shares, which could still doom his election candidacy.

The allegations are yet to be considered by the Election Commission.

Thaksin, in spite of repeated denials, was always alleged to have controversial political ambitions. Thanathorn, meanwhile, is seen in an increasingly similar situation. The list of complaints is growing, many to do with his perceived unorthodox ideology that contrasts with the conservative political ‘Thainess’ that includes non-negotiable support for the Army and Monarchy.

Thanathorn has been criticised for something he said about the Khana Ratsadon Party, which played an instrumental role in changing Thailand’s system from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 1932. The secretary-general of Thanathorn’s party has also been forced to deny making highly-controversial comments about Thailand’s political culture.

Future Forward did very well on March 24, surpassing pundits’ predictions for the new party. Analysts say the success is due to three main factors — Thanathorn’s youthful image that attracted the majority of first-time voters, the dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart Party that shifted a lot of votes to Future Forward, and the new party’s fresh ideology and perspectives.

He, and the party, attracted a lot of newer voters along with a core of disaffected voters who are looking for change.

But Thanathorn’s looming legal trouble is described as a potential banana skin. It concerns a large number of shares he had in a media company, which were transferred to his mother so that he could qualify as an election candidate.

One apparently-private document, which he is relying on, showed he transferred the V-Luck Media Company shares on January 8, before he applied for election candidacy. Another document, which his accusers are relying on, apparently showed the transfer was brought to the authorities’ attention after he became an election candidate.

Controversy continues to build around the young billionaire and chances are it will grow.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger

Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required
K-POP : BTS พาอัลบั้มใหม่ฉายแสงทั่วโลก พร้อมทุบสถิติใหม่รัว ๆ | The Thaiger
BTS6 mins ago

K-POP : BTS พาอัลบั้มใหม่ฉายแสงทั่วโลก พร้อมทุบสถิติใหม่รัว ๆ

ตรวจหวย ตรวจสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล งวด วันที่ 16 เมษายน 2562 | The Thaiger
ตรวจหวย3 hours ago

ตรวจหวย ตรวจสลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล งวด วันที่ 16 เมษายน 2562

[Live] มิ่งขวัญ แสงสุวรรณ์ แถลงข้อเท็จจริง กรณี ส.ส. พรรคเศรษฐกิจใหม่ยื่นยุบพรรคตัวเอง : เลือกตั้ง 2562 | The Thaiger
เลือกตั้ง 622 days ago

[Live] มิ่งขวัญ แสงสุวรรณ์ แถลงข้อเท็จจริง กรณี ส.ส. พรรคเศรษฐกิจใหม่ยื่นยุบพรรคตัวเอง : เลือกตั้ง 2562

คดีพลิก! คลิปแดดลำปางร้อนทอดไข่ดาวสุก หนุ่มถ่ายคลิปรับใส่น้ำมันตั้งเตาก่อน | The Thaiger
ข่าว2 days ago

คดีพลิก! คลิปแดดลำปางร้อนทอดไข่ดาวสุก หนุ่มถ่ายคลิปรับใส่น้ำมันตั้งเตาก่อน

ตัวอย่าง Game of Thrones Season 8  ตอนที่ 2 | The Thaiger
ตัวอย่าง3 days ago

ตัวอย่าง Game of Thrones Season 8 ตอนที่ 2

แก๊งวัยรุ่นตีกันงานสงกรานต์ พาพวกตะลุมบอนต่อหน้าห้องฉุกเฉินโรงพยาบาล | The Thaiger
ข่าว5 days ago

แก๊งวัยรุ่นตีกันงานสงกรานต์ พาพวกตะลุมบอนต่อหน้าห้องฉุกเฉินโรงพยาบาล

สงกรานต์หรือสงคราม ถือพร้าคว้ามีดจะอาบเลือดแทนน้ำ [คลิป] | The Thaiger
ข่าว5 days ago

สงกรานต์หรือสงคราม ถือพร้าคว้ามีดจะอาบเลือดแทนน้ำ [คลิป]

ไฟไหม้ “วิหารนอเทรอดาม” อายุ 850 ยอดหักพังถล่ม กรุงปารีส ฝรั่งเศส | The Thaiger
ต่างประเทศ5 days ago

ไฟไหม้ “วิหารนอเทรอดาม” อายุ 850 ยอดหักพังถล่ม กรุงปารีส ฝรั่งเศส

ฉายแล้ววันนี้ Game of Thrones ซีซั่น 8 ep.01 | The Thaiger
ฉายแล้ว6 days ago

ฉายแล้ววันนี้ Game of Thrones ซีซั่น 8 ep.01

สงกรานต์ร้อน ดีเจโซดาเล่นปืนฉีดน้ำในชุดบางแหวกลึก [คลิป] | The Thaiger
K-Pop6 days ago

สงกรานต์ร้อน ดีเจโซดาเล่นปืนฉีดน้ำในชุดบางแหวกลึก [คลิป]

K-POP : สรุปเดบิ้วเสตจ BlackPink บนเวที Coachella เสียงเชียร์กระหึ่ม [คลิป] | The Thaiger
BLACKPINK1 week ago

K-POP : สรุปเดบิ้วเสตจ BlackPink บนเวที Coachella เสียงเชียร์กระหึ่ม [คลิป]

[K-POP] : สุดจี๊ด MV เพลงใหม่ BTS – Boy With Luv feat. Halsey’ | The Thaiger
BTS1 week ago

[K-POP] : สุดจี๊ด MV เพลงใหม่ BTS – Boy With Luv feat. Halsey’

ตัวอย่างแรก Star Wars ภาค 9 : The Rise of Skywalker – ตัวอย่างแรก (Official ซับไทย) | The Thaiger
ตัวอย่าง1 week ago

ตัวอย่างแรก Star Wars ภาค 9 : The Rise of Skywalker – ตัวอย่างแรก (Official ซับไทย)

ด่วน! ไฟไหม้เซนทรัลเวิลด์ ประชาชนหนีตาย โดดตึก [อัปเดต] | The Thaiger
ข่าว2 weeks ago

ด่วน! ไฟไหม้เซนทรัลเวิลด์ ประชาชนหนีตาย โดดตึก [อัปเดต]

โซเชียลวิจารณ์คลิปสิบเวรใช้ไม้ฟาดพลทหาร ทำรุนแรงกว่าเหตุหรือไม่ | The Thaiger
ข่าว2 weeks ago

โซเชียลวิจารณ์คลิปสิบเวรใช้ไม้ฟาดพลทหาร ทำรุนแรงกว่าเหตุหรือไม่

Trending