Connect with us


TAT boss raps Phuket’s failings



BANGKOK: Suwalai Pinpradab, Director of the local office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said that the goal of Phuket becoming a truly ‘world-class’ destination is a pipe dream unless a variety of problems are dealt with.

These, she said, include high-volume, low-paying tourists; poor service in all sectors of the hospitality industry; and a crumbling natural environment.

Speaking with the Gazette during a Market & Product Briefing for TAT directors, government officials, and industry representatives at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, she said, “Phuket is a place to enjoy sun, sand and sea but no one is taking sufficient care of the environment [to maintain this reputation].”

Referring to the recent placing of two Phuket hotels  – the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa and The Racha Resort and Spa– in the Condé Nast Traveler (USA) Magazine’s 2004 top 100 hotels, K. Suwalai said, “This reinforces Phuket’s reputation worldwide. But all hotel staff [on the island] should be trained to provide a ‘world-class’ service.

“We must get to work on these problems immediately,” she warned.

Other problems to be addressed, she said, include poor service from tuk-tuk and other local transportation providers, and tourists being cheated.

K. Suwalai said that the niche markets the TAT in Phuket would focus on include independent women travelers, Japanese tourists, and students on cultural exchange visits – again with Japan as the main focus.

She said she also foresees continuing growth in the golf and diving markets in Phuket.

The TAT is also about so-called “zero-cost tourists” and the companies behind these tours, K. Suwalai noted.

One overseas TAT office director – who asked not to be named – characterized zero-cost tourists as those from the lower end of the market who prefer cheap shops and typically patronize only restaurants and hotels owned or run by their fellow countrymen.

K. Suwalai said that the TAT Phuket office will meet with travel agencies in Beijing later this year to try to negotiate minimum prices for package tourists.

“How much tourists pay is how the TAT defines their quality,” she concluded.


Get more from The Thaiger

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Destination Guide13 hours ago

Best areas to live in Phuket (2022)

Video14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Fears of shenanigans in Mountain B Pub fire investigation

Travel14 hours ago

5 vineyards and wineries in Thailand all wine lovers should know

Sponsored24 hours ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Thailand14 hours ago

Thai neitzens angry at SUV driver using a siren just to use toilet

Thailand15 hours ago

New poll says people from Thailand more relaxed about Covid-19

Thailand15 hours ago

Rama 2 Road guilty of being a repeat accident offender

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand16 hours ago

Body of one teacher found in double suicide pact in SE Thailand

Thailand17 hours ago

Son who tried to starve mother to death dies of TB in NE Thailand

Crime18 hours ago

Mystery 911 emergency service call turns out to be a monkey

Thailand19 hours ago

Hot gran bowled over by Shane Warne before he died in Thailand

Thailand19 hours ago

Soi Dog Foundation pledges to neuter 1 million animals in 2 years

Thailand20 hours ago

EPL praises Thailand for crackdown on illegal footie sites

Pattaya20 hours ago

Sick German man fails in suicide attempt in Pattaya

Video20 hours ago

Thailand approves all time high electricity price | GMT

Economy21 hours ago

Instant noodles, a staple budget food, fighting to increase prices

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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