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Haze not affecting tourism, says hotelier

PHUKET: The Deputy Director of Sales at the Royal Phuket City Hotel in the heart of Phuket Town has come forward to say that the haze that has been plaguing Phuket for the past week is not affecting tourism, according to a local government report.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 20 April 2023, 09:55AM

Anyaporn Sawangwongseree said that the “weather” in the Phuket area which has a “haze-like sky” as experienced in the past two to three years “does not affect the tourism aspect of Phuket”, said a report posted by Radio Thailand Phuket, which operates under the Public Relations Department.

“Especially tourists who come to dine at Twist restaurant located on the 19th floor of the Royal Phuket City Hotel, which offers a panoramic view of Phuket city, while watching the sunset in the evening as well as enjoying the natural atmosphere of Phuket Town, and both city and sea views,” the government report quoted her as saying.

Apparently, from talking to customers who are both Thai and foreign tourists who come to use the hotel restaurant, “there was no concern or doubt about the weather conditions in any way”, the report, posted late yesterday (Apr 19) continued.

“And we can see that it is normal for the weather to change from summer to rainy season. It is not caused by dust or PM 2.5. People still go about their lives as normal and a lot come to use the service at the hotel every evening into the night,” Ms Anyaporn said.

In a section of text that was not clear whether it was Ms Anyaporn talking or the government officials’ understanding of the situation, the report said, “According to data from the Air4Thai application, the situation and air quality in the Talad Yai Subdistrict area [in Phuket Town] reports for Apr 19 show particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in size (PM2.5) with a value of 37 micrograms per cubic meter. It is good air quality criteria and people can do outdoor activities and travel normally.”

“People can accurately check the air quality, which is the actual data of the area, at the Air4Thai application because there is an air quality measurement station located in the actual area not a prediction Therefore, it is correct information,” said the government report.

Unfortunately for Ms Anyaporn, the photos taken to accompany the report showed an empty restaurant during the day with clear views of haze over the town.

Further, regarding the reliability of the Thai government-regulated Air4Thai air quality monitoring app, the Phuket Info Center, which operates under Phuket branch of the Ministry of Interior, earlier this week itself said it was reporting the situation using the Swiss-based IQAir platform as it showed “results more consistent with the actual situation in Phuket”.

The report also made no mention of any effect the haze has had on short-term advance bookings. Local tourism officials have remained silent on that also, choosing instead to focus on the longer term when Chinese tourists are expected to return in greater number in the months coming.

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Kakka2 | 20 April 2023 - 16:31:43

ohh dear.. now we have a real expert talking here.. why they ask this sales lady from a terrible hotel we don't know, but surely she as no idea her life is getting shorter and shorter as she speak/breath from that rooftop... 

Old guy | 20 April 2023 - 13:46:17

LOL.  People who are already here and at the restaurant said the haze is not a concern. They're already here! 
Other sources say tourism down 50%. Does the pollution contribute to the decline. 


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