Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Phuket Opinion: The year of living feebly

Let’s face it, 2018 wasn’t a great year for Phuket. We ended the last high season with the island overrun with tour buses brimmed with Chinese tourists on so-called “zero-baht tours”, jamming the roads and piers, but business operators finally admitting that some independent Chinese travellers were finally arriving free from the package tours.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 6 January 2019, 09:00AM

For some, preserving the literal image of Phuket’s tourism far outweighs the natural beauty of the region itself. Photo: Aram Bartholl / Flickr

For some, preserving the literal image of Phuket’s tourism far outweighs the natural beauty of the region itself. Photo: Aram Bartholl / Flickr

Then the Patong wastewater crisis hit, never to be clearly explained whether the issue had ever been resolved and government water-test results somehow coming up with “nothing abnormal” though the beachwater colour proved otherwise.

Then the quickly forgotten Viking Cave tour boat explosion at Phi Phi saw a fireball scorch 19 Chinese tourists on board, prompting another order to improve marine safety to fall on ever-deaf ears. That came just before the low season kicked in and the Phoenix committed the unspeakable – killing 47 Chinese tourists in Thailand’s worst maritime incident on record.

And this in the era of instant social media posts, when photos and videos of the disaster were worldwide long before Thai authorities could contain the online outbreak – but once the curtain of silence was dropped on the media contain it they did, while spurring no confidence at all in the official response to the calamity.

The disaster was blamed for the huge fall in the number of tourists coming to Thailand, but truth be told, the hordes were already not coming, as Tourism Minister Weerasak Kowsurat explained at a meeting in Bangkok to which all Provincial Governors and heads of relevant departments were called.

Thailand Property Awards - Asia Property Awards

Now we have Patong entertainment business operators complaining that the nightlife industry is suffering heavily without the tourist numbers.

In this latest episode, the Phuket TAT office did refute that tourist numbers had fallen drastically, but also oddly declined to note how many arrive at Phuket airport and then head off-island to other less-developed areas, a fact the TAT has been happy to point out for years.

Looking back is the only way to look forward and at this stage there are very few signs that those currently entrusted with Phuket’s tourism situation are going to do anything different.

If things are going to get better we’re just going to have to do it ourselves, just the way the island’s tourism industry was first founded. So bring on 2019, and let’s get to it.



Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters

Kurt | 06 January 2019 - 09:46:30

Great analyse, great opinion.
Unfortunately, phuket thai officials are deaf and blind. Worse, they ignore 'reality signals', but continue 'problem downgrading' pep talks. It's the only thing they can do in their 'innocence not knowing anything'. They just hope the public/tourist believe the nonsense talks ( I not call it lies).  No problem handling/managing at all. 

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Phuket Police say investigation into Finnish girl’s death inconclusive

Whether she was a 'girl' or a woman' is immaterial, the fact that she has died is the cr...(Read More)

PPRP ‘seals deal’ to form coalition govt

So, 'translating' what the military sources are saying is that a few civilian parties are al...(Read More)

PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Road rage axe attack? Drugs found in rectum! Dark web bust sees 50 kids saved! || May 23

Did the police contact the Phuket based foreign Inspector .... for his expertise on how to extract t...(Read More)

May 4 approved as Coronation Day

...How many people he thinks do really benefit from those holidays ?Most Thai's are working anyw...(Read More)

Phuket braces for heavy weather, small boats advised to stay ashore

All chinese passengers, brace for heavy sea inpact before boarding coming days! You are warned! Rem...(Read More)

Phuket braces for heavy weather, small boats advised to stay ashore

Well, mr Wiwat, just covered himself (' I told you, not my responsible any further'). When...(Read More)

Four dead as pickup truck slams into tour bus heading to Phuket

Haha...driver to check if had taken drugs/alcohol. How silly is that? Riding on the back of the tru...(Read More)

One billion baht found in teenage drug dealer’s accounts

Wow, a 19 years old thai man, in drugs business with more than 1 million thb in his personal account...(Read More)

Government clamps down on surging illegal Thai migration

And, day in, day out, many thai having been illegal staying/working in Korea of course return to Tha...(Read More)

Men arrested for axe-wielding road-rage attack on ambulance

These two morons are seriously primitive in their mental capacity and cerebral development. No way ...(Read More)