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AMCHAM forum to tackle Phuket’s critical marine tourism issues



PHUKET Registration is building for the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Thailand’s special forum focusing on the future of Phuket’s marine tourism industry, to be held tomorrow evening (click here).

“Many people have expressed great interest in the joining the forum and we’re looking forward to a large turnout from people who have concerns to be addressed and ideas on how to solve the problems that Phuket is facing,” Natasha Eldred, of event organizer Shine PR, told the Phuket Gazette.

The forum will not only highlight what threatens Phuket’s marine tourism – dwindling fish stocks, boat accidents, poor safety standards, yachting restrictions, low respect for marine life and prejudicial treatment of the foreign diving community by government authorities – Ms Eldred explained.

“It will also focus on strategies on what can be done to make Phuket a place of marine tourism attraction, to counter these threats that are becoming so common.

“This is an opportunity to turn these issues on their head and take the initiative to show the world how Phuket has the quality of resources and the right professionals to tackle these problems.”

Every person on the island stands to be affected by any major turn for the worse in Phuket’s marine tourism, Ms Eldred noted.

“What affects the marine life, affects the beaches, affects the dive sites, and all these directly affect Phuket’s tourism industry – which in turn means that these issues affect every person who lives and works on the island,” she explained.

The forum will be largely interactive and participants will have the opportunity to ask the panel questions on the future of Phuket’s marine tourism industry.

Speakers include Claude Sauter, the general manager of The Surin and president of SKAL, who will be representing hoteliers island wide. He will explain how changes in the marine world affect the hotels and the guests who stay.

Special guest speaker Ric O’Barry, from ‘The Dolphin Project’ and the award-winning documentary The Cove, will express his views on the current situation with Phuket’s proposed dolphinariums. He will explain the consequences to Phuket’s tourism industry; where the wild dolphins come from and what can be done as a community to help these captured animals be returned to the wild.

Vincent Tabuteau, owner of Asia Marine, will provide his comments on the recent new restrictions and regulations in the yachting industry, and the current growth of the marine industry in Phuket and its future.

Well-established diving instructor trainer and technical diver Parusu “Khun Por” Komaradat will discuss the issues affecting the dive industry, while well-loved local environmental leader of change, John Gray, will explain how Phuket has overcome challenges in the past to become a greener tourist destination, and his views on where the island’s ecotour industry is heading.

The forum, to be held from 4:30pm in the Outrigger Laguna Beach Phuket’s new Similian Ballroon, is open to the public, with admission for non-AMCHAM members at only 100 baht.

Networking drinks will follow after the forum ends.

To sign up for the forum, visit, or contact Khun Orn at or call 02-2541041 ext 214.


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