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Gem retailers turn in firing line from Phuket bus association

PHUKET: Four of the island’s gem retailers have come under fire from local bus companies who say the retailers are denying local bus drivers work by drafting in their own buses to provide transport for the shops’ clients.

transport, tourism,


Darawan Naknakhon

Tuesday 23 August 2016, 12:12PM


ATBA president Mr Chonnawee Ektwensakul (2nd from left) hands a letter to Ms Walairat Kanthong, a secretary from Royal Gems Co. Photo: Darawan Naknakhon
ATBA president Mr Chonnawee Ektwensakul (2nd from left) hands a letter to Ms Walairat Kanthong, a secretary from Royal Gems Co. Photo: Darawan Naknakhon

Members of the Andaman Tour Bus Association (ATBA) met representatives from the Phuket Tourism and Sport office and four gem retailers yesterday (Aug 22) and submitted a letter stating that because they are using their own buses to transport customers to and from their outlets local drivers are now facing a shortage of work.

ATBA president Mr Chonnawee Ektwensakul said, “Many companies have ordered buses which they use to carry tourists in Phuket. This has caused local tour operators and drivers to lose their jobs during low season.

We want local officials to know that drivers belonging to ATBA are facing problems and want them solved fast.

Small entrepreneurs are causing a price war with operators from other provinces that came to operate in Phuket, and they offer discount prices. We also have to compete with jewellery shops who provide their own buses for their customers,” he said.

At present ATBA has 500 buses and 130 members. What we want is for the Royal Gems, Gems Gallery Phuket, Wang Thalang and Royal Gems Pavilion to stop bringing buses from other provinces to service tourists in Phuket.

“We have already asked for these companies to review their policies, and after submitting our request they say they that do not have such a policy,” he added.

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Ms Walairat Kanthong, a secretary from Royal Gems Co, said that she will forward the letter to her superiors, but she also insisted that their company does not have a policy of bringing buses from outside of Phuket to service their customers.

Most of the time we contact tour agents and have never agreed about bring buses in to service customers,” she said.

Gems Gallery Phuket Manager Mr Chatchawan Onlaied reiterated Ms Walairat’s statement that his company does not bring outside companies here to transport customers.

In April 19, more than 50 people from the ATBA gathered at Chai Field, across from Phuket Provincial Hall to urge officials to protect the island’s tour bus industry.

The group called for all factions of the industry to join the association in order to resolve disputes, especially to resolve the issue of tour companies in Phuket hiring buses and drivers from off-island. (See story here.)

 

 

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Kurt | 24 August 2016 - 10:12:57

@ swerv: What peace in Thailand you mean? Where?
(the yesterday double tap bomb in Pattani, leaving 1 dead and 29 wounded?)

Or do you mean to keep living in isolation and not willing to move forward like countries around Thailand?

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swerv | 23 August 2016 - 22:44:28

Kurt: Singapore, Singapore, Singapore. Why don't you go back to Singapore and leave us in peace?

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Kurt | 23 August 2016 - 17:47:23

Free Phuket tourist market mechanism.
Phuket moves forward! Cutting dead wood.

Phuket doesn't need to protect existing Phuket transport 'firms' or private drivers.
Phuket needs a good public bus transport system with bus stops at touristic outlets, like in Singapore.

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malczx7r | 23 August 2016 - 15:40:19

Agree with the others, maybe other provinces drivers know how to drive unlike Phuket bus drivers!

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PhuketLuxe | 23 August 2016 - 15:07:54

How about spending more time on being competitive and operating a good safe business, than protesting that companies are doing better business together.

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KCPhuket | 23 August 2016 - 14:19:04

Maybe they want their customers to arrive uninjured...

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simon01 | 23 August 2016 - 12:25:50

 If they learned to drive safely then they could have a case but they way they drive no wonder companies want their own drivers. They want customers to arrive in one piece.

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