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Phuket Governor orders crackdown on low-cost tours

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong yesterday outlined strategies devised to eliminate low-cost tour operators on the island during the his latest “Governor Meets Press” press conference held at Phuket Provincial Office in Phuket Town.

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By The Phuket News

Thursday 14 September 2017, 11:19AM


Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong speaks during yesterday's 'Governor Meets Press' press conference. Photo: PR Dept

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong speaks during yesterday's 'Governor Meets Press' press conference. Photo: PR Dept

Also present at yesterday's (Sept 13) press conference were Vice Governor Sanith Siriwihok, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen, heads of local government agencies, government representatives, private sector representatives and the media.

First we will adjust the pricing rules for new group tours to have a minimum cost of no less than B2,000 per person per night,” said Governor Norraphat.

We will establish a central agency to be responsible for the development of qualified professional guides, who are qualified in languages, travel, communication and aspects in their field of work to be line with the government's tourism promotion plan,” he added.

Governor Norraphat then went on to say that of the many tourists visiting Phuket every year, most are Chinese tourists. Many are visiting the island via low-cost tours, which exist due to competition between companies and tour operators.

The Chinese market has impacted tourism, such as tourism companies or operators in Phuket. There is hardly any benefit to these low-cost tours. It creates a cycle of scamming and threatening tourists in various ways.

They negatively affect the culture and natural attractions of Phuket, causing dirtying or polluting of tourist attractions. Tour buses lack maintenance though maintenance is available,” he said.

One reason is that they do not pay the rents due to the rental companies or pay the rent incorrectly. There is a lack of financial liquidity.

Also they often have irresponsible drivers who are reckless and lack expertise on Phuket roads. This is often the cause of accidents, so we must enforce a solution,” he said.

Governor Norraphat filed an order to the Phuket Provincial Governor’s Office, No. 8 on August 15 appointing a task force to tackle Phuket tourism businesses, and filed another September 5 ordering the task force to to set up a series of solutions to solve the problems relating to complaints from tourists regarding businesses and tour operators in Phuket.

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Gov Norraphat ordered various departments to be in charge of six listed businesses considered at risk of taking advantage of tourists:

1. In charge of restaurant business will be Phuket Provincial Police Commander Gen Teeraphol.

2. In charge of accommodations and hotels will be the the Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Mr Tawanawat Kongkaew.

3. In charge of Temples as a tourist attraction will be the Director of Phuket Office of Buddhism Winya Pluskwa.

4. In charge of souvenir shops will be the Office of Commercial Affairs Phuket.

5. In charge of low cost tours / businesses will be the 5th Infantry Division of the Royal Thai Army.

6. In charge of illegal guides will be Tourism Department Phuket office.

This arrangement will work because it looks after all aspects of tourism problems and create a good tourism image for Phuket,” said Governor Norraphat.

 

 

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Editor | 16 September 2017 - 16:26:17

It appears some people attempting to post comments here may not be aware that the following increased enforcement of our comments policy already in force has been ramped up. We trust all people posting comments on our website understand...


Due to the growing unsavoury tone of many comments posted alongside our stories, The Phuket News is now not allowing ANY comments that mention any other pe...

Jor12 | 15 September 2017 - 19:49:32

Gotta laugh at the crazy nonsense that is allowed to be published on here. Must be an established practise 

Kurt | 15 September 2017 - 18:03:06

Why not appoint 1 more army general on Phuket, special for Taxi, MiniVan and Tuk tuk affairs in order to make tourist transport on the island more tourist friendly and without scam?
The army alone has more than 1800 Generals. More Generals than tanks.
Many would like to make themselves useful. 

You know why many generals play so much golf?... They have no office.

malczx7r | 15 September 2017 - 12:50:39

No crackdown on crazy driving, ghost riding, illegal guns and weapons being carried, drink driving, speeding.  Nope just on things that bring more money into Phuket, as we always know, money is No1.

ematt | 15 September 2017 - 10:26:20

Re: "Blah blah blah... ...and who cares."  Indeed, then why bother to post?

Bigaresort | 15 September 2017 - 07:10:21

How long is this Governor going to remine? 6 moths? He did not tell us who is in charge to train all the thai tour guide!

Horst

Foot | 15 September 2017 - 02:49:22

"...Governor Norraphat then went on to say that of the many tourists visiting Phuket every year, most are Chinese tourists..."  Finally, someone has pointed out the huge decline over the last 4 years that has occurred in tourists from the west.

If the nightly cost is increased, these tourist will simply go elsewhere so Phuket would get many less.  Is this acceptable to the authorities...

BenPendejo | 14 September 2017 - 23:50:09

Blah blah blah... just creating more fleecing opportunities, but nothing is really going to change...and who cares.

bojon | 14 September 2017 - 20:15:20

Hard to know if it will have desired effects.  I just wonder, what points of view were made by business, and a question is what the honorary consuls were asked to tell their communities, the people they know, who may be business people and may have some views on these matters.  I have earlier asked with which consuls did the Governor talk and did he even ask the to convey anything of importance to...

chris007 | 14 September 2017 - 17:10:38

so how many different hats and uniforms will that be on the take playing pretend police. music copy right police, alcohol tax police , late closing police, underage staff police, low cost tour police, smoking on the beach police, no helmet police, open on buddha day police, open on erection day police, tour guide police, drop anchor police, feeding fish police, beach chair police, umbrella police,...

Rorri_2 | 14 September 2017 - 13:22:36

But no one in charge of the major scams, tuk tuk/taxis, parasails, jet skis, actually too many to mention, but then, in 12 months, going by history, we can look back and probably see no change.

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