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Patong hotels, beach chair operators move to change Phuket’s reputation as expensive

Patong hotels, beach chair operators move to change Phuket’s reputation as expensive

PHUKET: Hotels in Patong and local beach chair operators have banded together to create deals to offer free inclusive tours and heavily discounted rates to tourists in the hope of creating a new image of Phuket as an inexpensive holiday destination.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 13 August 2020, 12:53PM

Patong business figure Preechawut “Prab” Keesin explained yesterday that Patong tourism is still suffering heavily even though Phuket is already open for people from other parts of country to come and visit.

“Thai people still think of Phuket as an expensive place to visit, so we have to change their understanding by giving promotions, such as three-day hotel packages for B1,990, including a local tour,” Mr Preechawut said.

Local beach chair operators are also joining the push, he added.

“Local beach chair operators are also working with hotels operators in Patong to give their guests use of beach chairs for free or at heavily discounted rates, such as only B50, as well as free shuttle bus services from hotels to beaches. Hotel operators will pay for their guests,” Mr Preechawut said.

Mr Preechawut’s announcement came during the ‘Patong City - The Sustainable Big Cleaning Day’ mass cleanup of Patong Beach yesterday morning (Aug 12), joined by beach operators, Patong Municipality workers, staff from local businesses and local residents.

Patong beach chair operator Phian Thuanthin explained that even during spells of fair weather there are very few people coming to the beach and renting beach chairs.

Dan About Thailand

“Usually most of the customers are foreigners, but at this stage we have to focus on Thai people and work with hotels in order to help stimulate the local economy,” he said.

Mr Preechawut pointed out that Patong Municipality and private businesses in the usually busy tourism town are working together to hold events to attract more visitors to Phuket, such as the Bike Night event being held from today through Saturday and the upcoming Phuket Gastronomy festival.

“There are other events coming, and it has been proposed that Patong host a music festival and a football competition,” he added.

Of note, Patong Municipality has announced that Phuket Carnival 2020, the annual festival held each year to mark the traditional opening of Phuket’s tourism ‘high season’, will be held on Nov 1-5.

However, details of the live entertainment and fun activities to be held, which each year draws thousands of visitors to Patong, have yet to be released.

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Capricornball | 15 August 2020 - 23:24:44

I was wondering, while Prab Keesin is urging the marginally employed to further reduce their meager earnings, what kind of discounts and promotions is he offering at all his sleazy bars and nightclubs?  2 for 1 drinks?, all night happy hours?, no bar fines?  Prab Keesin doesn't care about anyone else except Prab Keesin.

Kurt | 15 August 2020 - 08:16:35

Mr HubertK,  This is not about 'moving here and complaining later'.  This is about stimulating local thai tourism. But Thai simply not go to Phuket, as it is in every aspect too expensive. Give me a reason why Phuket is more expensive than other places were Thai will go. Phuket is rip off expensive because it till now focused  only on foreign tourists. Any other reason to 'justify'...

CaptainJack69 | 15 August 2020 - 01:02:43

@HubertK: You  miss the point. Whether or not Phuket was expensive when any of us moved here is irrelevant. Phuket is DESPERATE to attract visitors TODAY and has no choice but to pin its (all-be-it small) hopes on meager takings from the domestic market, a market that avoids Phuket because they KNOW it's expensive. The point is that has to change.

LALALA | 14 August 2020 - 14:38:25

Hubert K...your explanation does not negate the fact that Phuket - and for me whole LOS - is a rip off place. It is NOT important why something is like it is, only the result itself is what counts. And if the Result is NOT acceptable than all explanations are nothing else than lame excuses. 

HubertK | 14 August 2020 - 13:00:04

Mr Timothy,Mr.Kurt  As in any other country of the world there are regions more expensive than others. How can someone sell you a drink for the same price compared to others if the rent is already much higher.Phuket for decades is known to be more expensive than other places in Thailand.Moving here and complaining later about it is just plain stupid.

CaptainJack69 | 14 August 2020 - 12:40:54

I'm looking at the link to this article on PN's home page directly under a (much bigger) banner advertisement for a Phuket hotel offering discounted rooms "starting" at 5000B a night. And with the number of adverts on PN now that's just a drop in the over-priced ocean. Is it any wonder people think Phuket is expensive?

Timothy | 14 August 2020 - 08:15:30

This guy and his father are  responsible for Patong being the dump it is. Tuk tuk mafia, jet ski mafia, touts in your face everywhere you go. Nowhere to park your car. A taxi to the airport with a suicidal maniac driver costs more than the flight to Bangkok. Drinks cost more than first world countries. Dual pricing. Rip offs galore! Not just Thais think it's expensive.   

Kurt | 14 August 2020 - 07:34:09

From Suvarnabhumi Airport to Rama-4 Rd in BKK I pay a taxi less than 400 thb. From Phuket airport to Patong 800 thb. Even more when you are tourists, get scammed by 'defect'taxi meter. Phuket has a enormous scam/cheat image problem. That get not overnight massaged away with a few partial promotion packages.  It will take a long time to change Phuket's image for the better.

Kurt | 14 August 2020 - 06:19:23

"Prab" Keesin is day dreaming.
A just once in a while 'promotion'? The Thai look through that. Phuket has to become structural cheaper to attract Thai tourists. As long it remains more expensive than Phang Nga, and other coastal destinations, that long the Thai wallets not come to Phuket at present economical sloppy times.

ThorFinger | 13 August 2020 - 20:41:16


DFPhuket | 13 August 2020 - 18:39:49

A taxi would be at least B1,600 (B800 each way) to/from the airport, plus B200 each time a taxi is taken in Patong. Taxi costs would double the cost of a B1,990 three-day hotel package.  

Fascinated | 13 August 2020 - 14:21:22

How about getting to grip with the tuk tuks and taxis. Its the optimum time to sort them out and he's in the position of being able to 'enforce' any changes. Is he willing to extend this to internal foreign tourists as well? Don't worry- I've already formed my own conclusions to that question.


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