Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Tourism: Has Phuket been ruined by tourism?

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: British TV personality Phillip Schofield revealed in a recent Daily Telegraph interview that he thinks Phuket – in particular Promthep Cape – has been ruined by tourism.

Recounting a recent trip to Promthep Cape with his wife, Schofield told the newspaper he was shocked by how much the place had changed for the worse since he visited in his youth.

Schofield said he remembered the Cape as a magical place where local families would bring food and everyone was invited to share, but now “nasty shacks selling awful food” and the “worst kind of commercialism” has destroyed the popular sunset viewing point.

Promthep Cape (Laem Promthep, in Thai) is located on Phuket’s southernmost tip and remains one of the island’s top tourist attractions, although packaged tourists have far outweighed private individual travellers at the Cape in recent years.

In addition to its natural beauty the Cape hosts a shrine, a lighthouse and a museum, and an oversupply of food stalls and trinket shops.

In a recent round of interviews, the Phuket Gazette tried to get some opinions on the Cape, and on Phuket generally, from people in a position to speak about it.

Responding to Schofield’s comments, the head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT’s) Phuket office, Bangornrat Shinaprayoon, said that “People don’t have the same tastes. Mr Schofield probably prefers local lifestyles. Times have changed and everything has changed with it.

“He can choose other spots in Phuket to go to, such as Nai Yang Beach which is still full of local smells and abundant nature. That might suit him better.”

However, many tourists and locals in Phuket agree with Mr Schofield’s comments.

Nuanjan Gedgliang, 44, has been running a clothes stall at Phromthep Cape for 18 years.

“Not many people bring food up to eat at Promthep anymore, ever since Rawai Municipality campaigned against it after some tourists complained that the Cape was dirty,” Mrs Nuanjan said.

Mrs Nuanjan also said that the area had definitely changed and become too commercialized – a transformation driven by tourism.

She added that Phuket has turned into a “foreigner’s city”, where everything has become expensive.

“I really would love for it to go back to what it used to be, but that seems impossible. If my house were not in Phuket, I would not live here,” she added.

Nicklas Nilsson, a 42-year-old Swedish expat, agreed.

“Promthep Cape is not like it was eight years ago. At that time there were not so many businesses – and only small food stalls,” he said. He emphasized that the pace of development of Phuket would eventually hurt tourism, as the island would no longer have a local influence, which would be off-putting to tourists.

Many other tourists and local residents, Thai and foreign, were found to share Mr Nilsson’s observations.

Mrs Bangornrat noted that there are some positives to take from their comments. Better organization in terms of appearance at many of the island’s tourist attractions was one issue she highlighted as needing redress immediately.

“We want tourists to be impressed, not put off…,” she added.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand59 mins ago

Thailand to apply for Guinness World Record for longest petrified log

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Koh Samui bar and club finds 16 Covid-19 infections

Best of3 hours ago

Kanchanaburi’s 5 coolest hotels

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!

Thailand3 hours ago

Thousands of inmates granted royal pardon on HM the King’s birthday

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 16,533 new cases; provincial totals

Best of3 hours ago

5 of the most amazing hotels in Koh Chang

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of4 hours ago

The best steakhouses in Pattaya serving juicy steak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Girls infected with Covid after mother dies at home; public criticises healthcare system

Coronavirus Vaccines6 hours ago

Crowds rush to Bang Sue for vaccination ahead of walk-in registration ending

Coronavirus Thailand6 hours ago

Thai PM predicts current Covid crisis will be over in 2 or 3 weeks – 4 at the most

Coronavirus Vaccines7 hours ago

Health Ministry says all frontline medical workers will get donated Pfizer doses

Coronavirus Vaccines7 hours ago

Study confirms mixing AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines as good as 2 mRNA doses

Coronavirus Phuket8 hours ago

Officials reluctant to cancel Phuket sandbox, lifeline for desperate locals

Best of8 hours ago

Top 5 art museums in Pattaya

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Record high of 16,533 new cases

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending