Connect with us

Phuket

Jet-ski jamboree’ to restore Phuket’s image

Published

 on 

PATONG, PHUKET: Phuket’s jet-ski operators are going all out to mend their industry’s grubby image on Thursday, when a ride on any of the island’s 200-plus jet-skis will be entirely free of charge.

The message they hope to send out: Phuket’s jet-skis are no longer a rip-off.

The Phuket jet-ski industry made headlines earlier in the year when foreign diplomats complained to the Thai government that Phuket jet-ski operators were extorting money out of tourists.

Then the TV show Big Trouble In Tourist Thailand hit British TV screens and YouTube.com, showing a jet-ski operator, Winai ‘JJ’ Naiman, extracting money out of a group of Royal Navy Marines.

A solution to the scam – in which operators demand large amounts of money from tourists for spurious ‘damage’, or grossly inflate repair fees – appears to be in place.

Nearly all of the island’s jet-skis are now insured under a compulsory insurance scheme and bear diamond-shaped stickers to prove it.

“I guarantee jet-ski rides won’t land any more tourists in trouble.”

That is what Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop told members of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee at a meeting to discuss the issue at Provincial Hall on Friday.

In attendance were committee president Torpong Chaiyasarn and vice presidents Polapee Suwanchawee and Thitima Chaisaeng.

Also present were Phuket MP Rewat Areerob, Tourist Police officers, tour operators and representatives from local government.

Mr Torpong said the committee was in Phuket to examine tourism problems that have damaged Thailand’s international image – especially the footage of JJ and its appearance on YouTube.com – and to find ways of mending that image.

Gov Wichai told the committee the jet-ski problem had been solved by the compulsory insurance scheme.

The scheme would be officially launched on Thursday, when all of the island’s jet-skis will be brought to Loma Park on Patong Beach, he said.

Starting from 9am and throughout the day, all jet-ski rides will be free.

For obvious reasons, those seeking a safe and peaceful swim on the day are advised to go elsewhere.

Mr Torpong said he was glad to hear the problem had been solved, but that the insurance scheme alone was not enough to repair Phuket’s reputation.

Local authorities needed to take legal action against the producers of Big Trouble In Tourist Thailand, and to report the case to YouTube.com, he said.

This, he hoped, would lead to the removal from the site of the damaging clips, which he said had now been viewed by more than one million people.

Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukhabaan questioned whether the jet-ski scam really frightened tourists away from Thailand, however.

“They’re much more concerned about political conflicts that could lead to airport closures,” he said.

Also discussed at the meeting was the variable price of boat tours.

Phuket Tour Boat Association President Kissada Pichetpongsanon said standard prices should be set for all tour boats operated off Phuket in order to end overcharging for trips – as well as over-discounting.

Phuket MP Rewat Areerob agreed to have further discussions with Mr Kissada on the subject.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

 

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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand12 hours ago

Cabinet seems to have ignored 4am nightlife proposal

Video13 hours ago

THAILAND NEWS TODAY | Korean woman arrested for 5-million-baht theft, 6-year overstay

Crime13 hours ago

Tuhao’s Chinese gang buys 50 homes in Bangkok luxury village with cash

Sponsored15 hours ago

Krungthong Plaza offers endless choices of well-selected plus-size fashion products

Road deaths13 hours ago

Bus flipped in Tak injuring 44 Burmese workers, killing 3

Thailand13 hours ago

3 men were arrested for stealing Thai Internet connection & World Cup betting in Cambodia

Pattaya14 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya woman left uninjured after overturning car

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime14 hours ago

Woman who allegedly scammed victims for over 30 million baht arrested in Pattaya

Bangkok14 hours ago

Bangkok BTS Skytrain fares to increase next year

Thailand15 hours ago

Police put brakes on car rental thief in Bangkok

World15 hours ago

New drug marks major milestone in slowing Alzhemier’s

World Cup15 hours ago

400 to 500 migrant workers in Qatar died due to World Cup, not 6,500

Visa16 hours ago

Thailand advises Indians to obtain visa prior to travelling to avoid long queues

Thailand16 hours ago

Driver furious with Bangkok shopping mall after foreigner accidently causes damage to her car

Politics16 hours ago

Iran promises Thailand it won’t attack Israeli tourists

Crime17 hours ago

Korean woman arrested for 5 million baht theft, 6-year overstay

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