Connect with us

Phuket

New park fees spark fury among dive firms

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

New park fees spark fury among dive firms | Thaiger

PHUKET: The good news is that the discriminatory fee system for entry into the Similan and Surin National Parks has been abolished. Thais and foreigners will pay the same fee. The bad news is that, from November 15, the entry fee for all divers will be 200 baht. And on top of that they must also pay a user fee of 200 baht per day, with the result that a four-day diving trip to one of the two parks will now cost 1,000 baht in fees. The new fees were decided at a meeting of chiefs of national parks in southern Thailand on October 12, and have come under heavy fire from dive operators, who collectively face having to cough up millions of baht, which they are unlikely to be able to recover from their customers who have already booked and paid for diving vacations. Explaining the new user fee, Polphut Bualoi, Chief of Sirinath National Park, said, “The new user-pays fee is simple. Diving is a very profitable business, and divers use more national park resources than other visitors. “The new fee is similar to those charged in other countries, such as at Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia. Diving trips here cost between 4,000 and 20,000 baht. We decided to charge 5% of the lowest price, which came to 200 baht per person per day.” Alistair Beveridge, president of the Phuket Chapter of the Dive Operators’ Club of Thailand (DOCT), said, “Last year, we paid an outrageous 200 baht per foreign diver and 40 baht per Thai diver per trip. This year, we have to pay 1,000 baht per diver per four-day trip, for both Thais and foreigners. “The Similan Park representative told us that he still had 2.5 million baht left over from the 4.8 million baht collected last year, and that he needed ideas on how to spend it. This season, they want to take nearly 20 million baht from our customers. “What for? Improvements promised last year have yet to materialize. They promise everything, but not a single thing has been done. That’s what we’re angry about,” Mr Beveridge added. Defending the new fees, K. Polphut said, “We use the money for conservation projects such as protecting the coral from fishing boats and the research at Fantasy Reef, which has been closed to divers for about a year because much of it has been destroyed. We also need money for tourist facilities and safety equipment. “It’s long-term work. You may not see any changes quickly, but if these two parks end up being like the Phi Phi islands, then who is going to be blamed?” K. Polphut added. Vithaya Hongviengchan, chief of Similan National Park said “This is nothing new. We talked to dive operators last year and we gave them a year to prepare. I think most operators should be ready for this and incorporate the fee into their packages.” To this, Mr Beveridge responded, “How can we tell customers? We were told about this around a week ago. The customers are already on their way to Thailand. This should’ve happened six months ago. They should’ve sent us a fax or a letter. “The DOCT faxed the national parks requesting a meeting to talk about the fee three days ago, and there’s been no reply,” he added.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

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:

Tourism2 mins ago

Will it, won’t it? October re-opening in doubt as Anutin defers to medical experts

Philippines15 hours ago

ICC opens investigation into Philippines President Duterte

World15 hours ago

American general defends “clandestine” phone calls with China

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand15 hours ago

Countdown to October reopening; body of Koh Phi Phi resort manager found | Thailand News Today | September 16

Visa16 hours ago

Hungarian woman arrested in Koh Samui for 10-year overstay

Thailand16 hours ago

Nakhon Si Thammarat reports Covid outbreak at prison

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Guides17 hours ago

Most famous viewpoints in Phang Nga

Blackpink17 hours ago

Blackpink’s Lisa causes sales frenzy for Buri Ram meatballs

Thailand18 hours ago

NACC ordered to disclose their findings regarding Deputy PM Prawit’s watch scandal

World18 hours ago

“Thai Taste Therapy” launched to promote Thai cuisine worldwide

Food18 hours ago

Food and drinks to stay away from in Thailand

Thailand18 hours ago

Ode to the Comments | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 19

Pattaya19 hours ago

Pattaya reopening likely to snub nightlife, favor other attractions

Thailand19 hours ago

Epidemiologists dispatched to Phuket to help curb the spread of Covid

Phuket19 hours ago

Phuket Vegetarian Festival gets “green light” to run from October 6 to 14

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Trending