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.
“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.