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Tourism industry backlash staves off doubling of park entry fees

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tourism industry backlash staves off doubling of park entry fees | Thaiger

THAILAND: The National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP) has decided to rethink its plans to double the entrance fees to National Parks after coming under fire from tourism businesses.

The DNP had planned to double park entry fees so that foreign children would pay 200 baht, foreign adults 400 baht, Thai children 20 baht and Thai adults 40 baht.

Phuket Tourist Association President Pattanapong Aekwanich, told the Gazette that he disagreed with increasing the National Park fees, in spite of the DNP’s claims that they are short of money.

K. Pattanapong also said that he thought that in some cases entry fees should be decreased, citing Sirinath National Park at Nai Yang as an example. He said that he thought the 200-baht entry fee for foreign adults was already too much as the park’s facilities were not good and there was nothing for tourists to see or do.

“If the prices are too high, tourists will visit other attractions,” he said, explaining that for a couple of hundred baht more, instead of visiting Sirinath National Park tourists could visit Simon Cabaret.

“The fees are already high and if the officers were more strict in collecting them, then the DNP would have enough money. But if the DNP raises its entry fees, tourist businesses will be affected and the burden will be passed on to consumers. This will have a negative effect on tourism,” K. Pattanapong added.

K. Pattanapong’s sentiments were echoed across the bay in Krabi, where Ittirit Kinglek, Chief of the Krabi Tourism Business Association, said, “The government wants to promote tourism, but the DNP wants to increase [National Park entrance] fees, which is the opposite of what tourism businesses in the Andaman region need.

“The current rates are already quite high for tourists and tour agencies. If the price is increased to 400 baht [per foreign adult], it will be harder for tourists to pay and some national parks do not have high-standard accommodation and services. If we increase prices, then we should improve the parks and facilities, too.”

“We have asked for the DNP to rethink the idea. Tourism is still feeling the effects of the tsunami, the World Cup is now on and it is the low season. It is not a good time to raise prices.”

Kridwikrome Kleawkla, Chief Assistant at Sirinath National Park, said, “If the head office thinks prices should be raised, then they must have their reasons.”

“At Sirinath National Park I have to explain to tourists before they decide to enter the park that the facilities have not been fully restored to the standard they were before the tsunami.

“I think the proposed new rates will not affect tourists; they can pay the higher prices, but if we charge ‘international’ prices, then we should improve the park to international standards,” he added.

 

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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

Phuket sets quarantine requirement for those entering the province, some exempt

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via PR Phuket

A 14-day period in quarantine is required for those entering Phuket who are either not vaccinated against the coronavirus or have not been tested for Covid-19 within 72 hours of arrival.

Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong made the announcement yesterday, adding they will no longer require Covid-19 tests on arrival. Phuket News notes that the required tests were problematic, particularly for truck drivers who were delivering essential items to the island on a regular basis.

“If you stay in Phuket shorter than 14 days, then you will be in quarantine as long as you stay on the island… From today on, no rapid tests anymore. Arrivals without any documents must get the quarantine order at the checkpoint.”

Piyapong says staff from the Phuket Public Health Office will hand out quarantine orders to those entering the province. The a copy of the order will be sent to the Emergency Operation Centre, which will follow up with those who are in quarantine at their homes or hotels.

The main Phuket checkpoint will only be open from 8:30am to 8:30pm. Only delivery vehicles can enter outside of those hours.

Those only entering Phuket for a short day trip are exempt from the quarantine rule, according to the Phuket News.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Fishermen find space debris off the coast of Phuket

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Phuket Andaman News

Local fishermen found space debris, possibly from a satellite or space shuttle, on the seabed just 6 metres below the surface by Koh Ael in Phuket. At first, no one knew exactly what it was.

Specialists from a Navy explosive ordinance disposal unit were first called to look at the round, hollow metal object which was about 45 centimetres in diameter. 3rd Naval Area commander Vice Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet told reporters at a press conference that the team took photos of the object and found it appeared to be a rocket fuel tank, possibly used to launch a satellite or shuttle into space. He said it matched photos online.

Both the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, or GISTDA, and the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, agree that the object was most likely a fuel tank for a rocket.

Since the fuel tanks usually contain harmful chemicals like ammonia or hydrogen, divers examined the space debris to make sure there were no chemical leaks before bringing the object to shore and taken to the navy headquarters. The space debris will be taken to the GISTDA to be studied.

“If other objects similar to this one are found elsewhere, people should not touch them. They could contain hazardous chemicals. They should immediately inform Region 3 Thai-MECC or local officials.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Phuket

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Tembela Bohle for Pexels

Phuket officials are serious about disease control orders banning parties and gatherings with friends, especially when alcohol is involved. They’re so serious, that apparently they’re searching for 4 foreigners who were seen drinking beers at a restuarant in Rawai.

Police raided the restaurant yesterday at a complaint from a woman who works for the local district office. She was out on a campaign pushing for locals to wear face masks when she noticed that some people were sitting at the Roxanne restuarant, having a beer. Photos as well as a video was sent to the police showing a group of 4 foreign men and 2 Thai women sitting at the restaurant together.

Along with police officers, local officials from the Muang District Office and Rawai Municipality showed up to the restuarant. Reports say the men were seen driving off on motorcycles just as as the team of 10 officers and public officials arrived. The beer was still on the table when police arrived.

Officers took the owner of the restaurant and 4 of the employees to the Chalong Police Station. The owner is facing charges of breach of the provincial order banning the sale of alcohol and allowing the consumption of alcohol on the premises.

Just last week, police raided a home in Cherngtalay, breaking up a gathering of 6 people. 2 men from the UK who work in Phuket were taken to the police station and fined 6,000 baht whilst police were still waiting for another 4 people to present themselves at the police station.

As part of the disease control measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, preparing Phuket for a possible Covid and quarantine-free reopening in July, officials have banned social activities and gatherings, with the expection of traditional events like funerals. Phuket authorities have warned that foreign residents who break the rules could be subject to being deported.

SOURCE: Phuket News

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant | News by Thaiger

 

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