Tsunami-struck firms “need more help’

PATONG: The President of the Phuket Tourist Association has called on the government to do more to help the tourism industry recover from the tsunami.

Pattanapong Aikwanich told a seminar yesterday at Club Andaman Beach Resort, Patong, called to discuss restoring Phuket’s spa businesses, “We are about 90% ready to do business now, but occupancy is currently only about 10%. We’re losing about 10 billion baht a month.”

He warned that spas and other businesses would soon have to start laying off staff, and this could spark a chain reaction that could affect society as a whole.

“I have been asking for monetary aid from the government but there has been no sign of it so far,” he said. “We will really struggle without it.”

Opas Netraumpai, Vice President of the Tourism Council of Thailand, told the gathering that, at another meeting on Tuesday, it had been decided to try to attract more Thai visitors to the Andaman provinces.

He said some inexpensive tour packages were already being offered, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand was also looking to promote packages allowing Thais to make merit here.

However, K. Opas added, “The government must help businesses more than it is currently doing, for example by deferring the deduction of social insurance fund payments. Also, the Revenue Department and Excise Department should give businesspeople longer to pay their taxes; if they do this, it makes it more likely that people will stay in business – and this will be able to pay taxes in the future.

“This is like a circle. Tourism is the main engine here, and that must be kept going, so that the businesses related to it keep going too.”

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

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