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Phuket bus and guide associations again complain of lost jobs

PHUKET: Members of the Andaman Tour Guide Association (ATGA) and Andaman Bus Travel Association (ABTA) submitted letters to the Phuket Governor yesterday (Nov 28) demanding action as they say they have lost their jobs to illegal tour guides and operations.

transport, tourism,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Tuesday 29 November 2016, 12:33PM

Members of the AGTA and ABTA gather at Provincial Hall yesterday (Nov 28). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub
Members of the AGTA and ABTA gather at Provincial Hall yesterday (Nov 28). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

At 9:30am yesterday more than 50 members of the ATGA (Phuket-Phang Nga-Krabi) led by Mr Krit Thepbamrung gathered at Provincial Hall to submit their letters to Gov Chockchai Dejamornthan.

Mr Thavornwat Buakaew, acting on behalf of the governor, received the letter and told the group that he will look into the issue.

President of the AGTA, Mr Krit, explained, “In the past our government had an urgent policy and set up a committee to get rid of illegal guides and tour operations. Former Vice Governor Prajiad Aksornthammakul was chief of the committee, but since his retirement the operation seem to have come to a stop.

“Today the number of illegal guides has increased and this has caused stress to those who work legally.

“These illegal guides have no knowledge of the area they take tourists to. Tourists often get wrong information about Phuket from these guides which damages the island’s tourism,” he said.

The ATGA wants Gov Chochchai to resolve this issue fast and are demanding that officials set up a new committee immediately to rid the island of illegal guides.

“Many of us are in distress as officials incorrectly enforce the law, this must be rectified,” Mr Krit added.

Meanwhile, also at 9:30am yesterday, members of the ABTA led by Mr Chonawee Eaktiewsakul arrived at Provincial Hall also to hand a similar letter of complaint to Gov Chockchai and Commander of 41st Military Circle Maj Gen Akom Pongprom asking them to solve the problem of out-of-province buses stealing their jobs.

Mr Chonawee said that since joining Asean, the number of tourists visiting Phuket has increased.

“This created an opportunity for agents and tour companies in Phuket to bring tour buses from other provinces to serve in Phuket.” he said.

“Today, bus operators in Phuket have no jobs, cannot afford to care for our families and our debts are accumulating.

“We want officials to solve this issue fast starting by banning buses from other provinces coming to work in Phuket.

“There are about 1,000 members in the ABTA, but we don’t have any income now because tour companies would rather hire buses from outside of Phuket for a cheaper rate.

“We cannot compete with their fares. We charge about B18,000 for six days, while those outside charge only B14,000. The government should help us settle this,” Mr Chonawee concluded.



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Kurt | 01 December 2016 - 15:08:44

Skip: Very well commented!
The best thing the governor can do is when thai Phuket transport mafia cries crocodile tears in front of his office is asking them to bring their tax paid forms first, to analyse the real financial situation of the Phuket transport sector.
Governor will be surprised, they earn more than he does.  hahahaha

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skip | 01 December 2016 - 09:40:09

its not the governors business to stop outside tour buses and guides coming in, they are legal, its called supply and demand, the basis of all economies. phuket needs to step up and provide quality affordable tourism.  the bigger issue is he somehow going to stop tourists NOT coming to phuket because they have experienced a low quality, high cost holiday? people talk with their feet and phuket has became a low quality non sustainable destination for tourism. phuket, clean up your act and stop fighting about the corruption money and start to look after the tourism industry as it has died. phukets previous reputation will only last so long and then it takes years to rebuild tourism.

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Kurt | 30 November 2016 - 14:22:24

malczx7r:  As this new governor comes from a cheaper province, were fish had to be transported too, but still cheaper than on Phuket I am sure he already experienced the rip off prices of Phuket island.

As Phuket is not Thailand, but a international community with many illegal (not registrated) thai workers, it must be a culture shock for the new Governor.
The corrupt thai setting of Phuket Island must make it very difficult for the Governor to decide were to start to make Phuket a normal thai place again.
Mind you, fishermen are landing fish at Phuket, no transport needed.
So, why has it to be almost double the price of Bangkok?

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malczx7r | 30 November 2016 - 12:10:53

Ah, can't compete, well if Phuket stopped being greedy and charging double for everything then there wouldn't be a problem, just went out for food in bkk, had a large fish, noodles and salad, 170b, in Phuket that would have been nearly double, stop ripping everyone off Phuket, lets hope the Taxi's all fail too and we get bkk prices then maybe people would use the taxi's, i know i would if they were bkk prices! Now i just use regular people to taxi me around, not giving money to the mafia!! If the halved their prices they'd probably triple their workload and make more money, unfortunately they are too short sighted to see this!

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Kurt | 30 November 2016 - 11:46:29

Asking the new Governor to ban bus operators from outside Phuket is clearly a request for protection of Phuket transport mafia, and a attempt to keep their prices extra high.
In order to keep jobs,feed their families and being able to take care their debts?  
Let me laugh!

What actually should be banned is that funny Phuket thinking, that so called.." stealing jobs idea"...   Very funny.

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Kurt | 29 November 2016 - 21:04:59

Perhaps a 1 day education course about how to compete with other thai non Phuket transport organisations?
Learn a bit about 'competing market mechanism', learning too when you are to greedy sooner or later you price yourself out of the thai market.?
Phuket bus operators have to adjust themselves.
Here is no job for the government to do.

Is it not funny that bus operators from outside Phuket can operate cheaper than the Phuket bus operators?
Were is the logic?
Bit by bit the Phuket transport mafia will loose ground as thai non Phuket transport firms are moving in.
Phuket Governor should promote that.
Fresh 'transport blood' will be good for Phuket.

About tour guide complains:
All crocodile tears stuff.
Foreign tourists having explained Phuket in their own language by a 'illegal' guide learn far more about the real Phuket 'culture' than from a almost not understandable thai guide.
(This is what European and Chinese tourists told me)
Anyway what can be 'wrong' told about Wat Chalong, Big Buddha, Phromthep Cape, Karon View Point,  beaches and shopping centers?

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