Phuket Gazette readers favor total ban on jet-skis

PHUKET CITY: A majority of readers believe jet-skis should be banned with immediate effect, the results of the latest Phuket Gazette Poll have revealed.

A total of 1,346 people voted in the poll, which asked what Phuket’s policy on jet-skis should be.

A clear majority, 53.8%, supported a total ban on jet-skis with immediate effect.

Local expat residents were 58% in favor of a total ban, while 51% of Thais felt the same way.

Fifty percent of those identifying themselves as tourists or visitors also favored a complete ban.

The second most popular option was a gradual phase-out of jet-skis, which was favored by 19.4% of voters overall.

Third most popular was strict enforcement of current regulations, the preferred option of 18.6% of readers.

A small percentage of readers, just 6.9%, believe there is no problem with jet-skis and that the status quo should be maintained.

The least popular option, at just 1.3%, was to have more jet-skis and less regulation.

Phuket’s infamous jet-ski scam, in which operators charge tourists extortionate sums of money for spurious ‘repairs’ to the vehicles when they are returned, is a key reason for the vehicles’ unpopularity.

Australian diplomats recently complained to the prime minister about the rip-offs, leading Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban to order the Phuket governor and police to clamp down on the practice.

Following the announcement of the poll, the Gazette received a great deal of feedback from readers about jet-skis.

One reader, Michael Finn, wrote, “They are presently operated by countless rip-off artists who seem to have the support of those who should be stopping them.”

Many Phuket residents wrote to say that they witnessed tourists getting ripped off by operators on many occasions.

“Something needs to be done to stop this before it destroys Phuket,” Carl Smith wrote from Patong.

Phuket News

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