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Phuket Vice Gov calls for Patong to “be nice’ to tourists



PHUKET: Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak has called on the people of Patong to not “take advantage” of tourists during this year’s Patong Carnival, the annual festival that marks the start of high season for tourism in Phuket.

“I want everyone to be good hosts and welcome the tourists. Be goodwill ambassadors. I don’t want anyone taking unfair advantage of our visitors,” he said at a public press conference on Soi Bangla on Wednesday night to announce the week of fun activities.

Vice Governor Somkiet also called for progress in resolving long-standing problems facing the beach resort town.

“I want to encourage Patong Municipality to improve the quality of the streets and to solve the parking problem in order to help the tourists [get around Patong],” he said.

“Services offered in Patong should have standard prices, too. I believe this would improve the image of Patong and the overall image of Phuket,” he added.

Patong Mayor Pian Keesin explained that more than 2 million baht is being spent on the Patong Carnival Parade, the traditional opening event for the carnival. This year’s procession will take place December 15 and may bear some resemblance to Dorothy’s walk through Munchkinland in the Wizard of Oz.

“The theme for this year’s carnival is ‘Beautiful flower of the Andaman – Colorful Phuket Island’. The whole parade will be decorated with flowers. People taking part will be dressed as flowers, dancing along with the music,” Mayor Pian said.

“The whole parade and the route it takes will be illuminated by a colorful lighting system, which alone will cost 2 million baht,” he said.

Mayor Pian said that Patong Municipality has allocated 7 million baht and ThaiBev 5 million baht for this year’s event. Additional support is from carnival co-sponsors Quiksilver, Kasikorn Bank, Krung Thai Bank and Ocean Plaza Bangla.

“Together they have come up with the necessary funds to stage this year’s carnival, which includes the organizing, music concerts and other activities,” he said.

Click here to see the latest schedule of events for the carnival.

— Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai


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