Patong “building site’ deters tour companies

PHUKET: Travel agents are still reluctant to send tourists to Phuket because property damaged by the tsunami has not yet been repaired, yesterday’s Patong renovation progress meeting heard.

Pattanapong Aikvanich, the President of the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA), said discussions with tour companies and journalists from countries such as Germany, Australia and Sweden had revealed the feeling that tourists would not wish to take their vacations in a place that resembles a building site.

This was particularly the case with Patong’s beach road, said K. Pattanapong. He added, “I would like to see the organizations involved [in the post-tsunami renovations] make speedy progress in resolving this problem.”

Vinai Buapradit, Phuket Vice-Governor and the head of the committee of five “tigers” that Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura has charged with speeding up the implementation of the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) recovery plan for Patong, said the restoration of the beach road was the top priority in the municipality.

“In fact, some businesses have already started their renovations, but the problem is that the road still looks like a building site,” he said.

He urged Patong Municipality, with financial support from Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation, to build fences to shield the construction work.

However, Patong Mayor Pian Keesin said that some businesses had already made it clear they would prefer to provide their own fencing, while others – especially small businesses – said the fences would get in the way when equipment was being delivered and removed.

The Mayor’s solution is to use plants as shields rather than fencing.

Phuket News
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