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Rougher seas ahead for Phuket’s dive industry

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Rougher seas ahead for Phuket’s dive industry | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: A newly formed committee met at Phuket Provincial Hall on April 5 to discuss recent developments in the dive industry, particularly accusations leveled at the industry that some dive operators have been evading tax and employing staff without work permits.

Phuket’s Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Nivit Aroonrat, claimed after the meeting that Phuket’s dive industry is “concealing” facts and that the government does not have enough overall information about operators and their employees.

He said that, despite the fact that the dive industry is an important part of the island’s tourism industry and is a rich source of income, the government should regulate operators more rigorously.

He pointed out that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is responsible for dive operators’ registration, but that it records only the number of boats, the diving equipment and the number of dive masters employed .

“The TAT at first asked why the dive industry had suddenly become an issue as they are the ones who are supposed to regulate it.

“Yet when I asked if they knew if every dive master had a work permit or not, they admitted that they had never checked. The second question I brought up was whether import tax had been paid for their diving equipment or not. They had to admit that they hadn’t checked on that either.

“Also, does the TAT know how much coral is destroyed when [dive companies] go on diving trips? And does the TAT know how much we spend every year on restoring and looking after coral? Even though the dive industry says that they spend money here, [the amount is] nothing compared with the cost of coral upkeep.”

K. Nivit said that the committee had come to the conclusion that the province will have to take effective measures to control dive operators; to check their taxes and work permits, and the amount of damage they may have caused to coral.

He added, “I’d like these measures to be implemented this month, but we still have more issues to discuss.”

He said that the province will set up a committee to check and regulate dive operators before they are even eligible to register with the TAT. The task of the committee will be to check boat registration, work permits, import taxes, the length, quality and safety of diving courses, whether companies have Thai employees or not and, if so, whether they comply with Thai labor laws.

K. Nivit added that even though these measures might be regarded as tough, they would be “good for tourism in the future”.

“We don’t think that these regulations will deter dive operators from investing in Thailand. In the end they’ll thank us because we’ll get rid of the companies that give the industry a bad name,” he concluded.

 

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

Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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