Connect with us

Pattaya

Phuket rental operator takes stand against undesirable tourists

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

Arnut Lowlarng, 39, is a native of Patong and the new President of the Patong Bike and Car Rent Association. He has a vocational certificate in construction from Phuket Technical College and has been renting vehicles in Patong for more than 22 years.

Here, he talks about what kind of tourists he’d like to see in Phuket and the issues faced by rental operators.

PHUKET: It’s easy to see that the tourists who come to Phuket nowadays have a lot less buying power than those who came 15 years ago. I’d say 10 times less.

Budget airlines, hotels, apartments and so forth have made travel affordable for a lot more people. I have nothing against tourists who are not rich, but I have a big problem with those who are cheaters and who don’t respect the property they rent from me.

Making Thailand more affordable has increased the number of undesirable tourists that we get. For example, customers in my friend’s restaurant ordered 6,000 baht of food and ran away without paying for it. A guy who rented a motorcycle from me got drunk and burned rubber on my bike – you know, accelerating while you hold the brakes, to make a lot of noise and smoke. He even made a video clip of himself doing it! That’s not good for my bike, and if it’s damaged, it costs me time and money to get it repaired.

If you ask me what we want most from the government, it would be more customers and also higher quality customers. That means no criminals too. Immigration and embassies should conduct careful criminal checks on people coming to Thailand.

Our country’s selling point is a good environment and culture, but people who come here to commit crimes destroy our image. Just one example is ATM skimmer gangs (story here).

But it’s not just tourists that should be good quality. Rental operators have to do their part to provide good and reliable business, we know that. We’ve gotten a lot of flak recently because we keep tourists’ passports when we rent out vehicles to them (story here).

There are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, the tourist always has a choice. They can leave a deposit equal to the value of the bike, or they can leave their passports. That deposit amounts to about 35,000 baht for the average bike, so it’s not surprising that they prefer to leave their passports.

We understand the responsibility of holding passports and we take great care to return them to their rightful owners.

We made a mistake once, and though it cost us a lot of money, we did what we had to to correct it. We had given the wrong passport to a customer who left Phuket and went to Pattaya. Then the real owner of the passport came in, and told us he had a flight leaving the next day. One of our staff flew to Pattaya to bring the passport back in time for our customer.

We are participating in the LINE app program, and send passport photos of everyone who rents from us to the police. I think it’s a good idea, but I’m not sure about long-term benefits; we only started two months ago (story here).

I heard that some people blame us when tourists who rent vehicles have accidents. We tell our customers to wear helmets and advise them about road safety. In the future, I’d like to give renters a more complete picture of traffic laws.

We do check licenses and most of all, make sure our renters can drive. One time I rented a car to someone, then cancelled the rental as the guy was driving away because I could see he didn’t know what he was doing.

The bottom line is, we don’t want our renters to have accidents. We don’t want them to get hurt, of course, and we don’t want to lose money because our property is damaged and can’t be rented out. The thing I want most from my customers is respect for my property. We are providing them with a service – a vehicle to use, not a toy to have fun with. Please don’t damage it.

— Saran Mitrarat

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Weather3 hours ago

Flooded hospital in Chaiyaphum had to evacuates 40 patients

Thailand4 hours ago

300,000 more AstraZeneca vaccines donated from Japan arrived

Northern Thailand4 hours ago

Extremely rare earthstar mushrooms found in Phetchabun

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Weather6 hours ago

Flood warnings below of Chao Phraya Dam, across Thailand

Thailand7 hours ago

US calls meeting with Thai officials to resolve donated vaccines

Thailand8 hours ago

10 Burmese migrant workers arrested in Songkhla

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand9 hours ago

Over 50 million vaccine doses administered in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Sunday Covid-19 Afternoon Update: Provincial Totals

World9 hours ago

China announces cryptocurrency trading is illegal

North East10 hours ago

Stolen 72 year old elephant returned to owner after 18 years

Thailand11 hours ago

Pattaya readjusts tourism goals for high season

Thailand11 hours ago

Phuket relaxes checkpoint requirements to help tourists and health officials

Phuket11 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 2 deaths, 4 Sandbox infections, 10k total cases

Thailand13 hours ago

Facebook page that claims to sell dog meat met with scorn on social media

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand welcomes its first AI influencer, “AI Ailynn”

Thailand2 weeks ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Trending