Recent crimes in Phuket are damaging its reputation

Just when Phuket thought it was about to revive its crippled tourism economic system, the current murders, thefts, and taxi ripoffs on the Island province are scarring its public picture. The most high profile latest event is the homicide by two hitmen of deported Canadian gangster Jimi Sandhu at a villa in Rawai, on the southern coast of the island.
The homicide has made a lot of international headlines and poor publicity for Phuket, so Thailand’s senior police flew to the island to evaluation and lead the investigation.
But it’s not just the story of Jimi Sandhu that’s tearing Phuket up at the moment.
The province’s current bad press dates back to August when a Swiss vacationer was found useless and half bare at a waterfall. A man had sexually assaulted her, and then drowned her when she fought back. He then coated her in a plastic sheet and robbed 300 baht from her dead physique. Because occurred only one month after Phuket had reopened to vacationers in July.
To prime off the recent issues with violence, there’s additionally the problem of taxi drivers overcharging tourists for fares. In 2019, Australian tourists filed a grievance for a 3,000 baht fare for a 50 kilometre ride from the airport to their resort. There have been loads of different high profile cases that have attracted dangerous publicity for the island’s public transport infrastructure, or lack of infrastructure.
After Phuket’s common variety of vacationers a day went right down to 500 in 2021, it’s now up to 2,000-3,000 entering a day. A chairmen of the Thai Hotels Association, southern chapter, informed Bangkok Post that even though Phuket hotels are 30-40% occupied, that quantity is expected to go down within the next few weeks.
Even one Pheu Thai MP commented on Phuket’s unravelling image, calling for the federal government to quickly repair it to find a way to save the province’s tourism. He advised Phuket rent more vacationer police, and the Thai Hotels Association chairman has suggested holding a public discussion board to deal with the continued points with transport fares.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Editors comments from the original editorial within the Bangkok Post…

Just scratching my head over some comments made by Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, chairman of the Thai Hotel Association, Southern Chapter, in an otherwise withering editorial about Phuket by the BKK Post this morning.
“He said some webpages sensationalised tales about Phuket transport to whip up hype.”

‘Reporting’ the incidents isn’t “whipping up hype”. And if they are sensationalised, these should be reported and acted on. I’ve seen no evidence of over-dramatised or inaccurate reporting about the island’s transport woes. Indeed most people on the island wouldn’t dare cross the so-called taxi mafia or publish stories directly addressing their actions. Social media, however, has been in a position to expose many personal complaints to a much wider viewers.
“Some even invent incidents to attempt to drive a wedge between Phuket taxi drivers and tourists.”

That’s a serious allegation and ought to be followed up of any Phuket media are ‘inventing incidents’.
“Drivers choosing up clients at the airport argue they must cost twice the traditional fare because, coming from the city, they are permitted solely to drop off prospects at the airport however not pick up new ones from there.”

It’s not the taxi fares TO the airport, it’s primarily the taxi fares FROM the airport, with mounted prices which are 2-4 instances more than what you’d spend in, say, Bangkok. Then once more, just about any fare around Phuket is pricey compared to Bangkok.
Mr. Khoopongsakorn makes excuses for the AOT and Phuket Airport ‘system’ somewhat than addressing the precise problems. Perhaps he should use the same airport to take a flight to Don Mueang or Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok to see how well organised taxis and public transport are there. And take a look at the metered costs for similar size journeys.
“Mr Kongsak said the tourist arrivals have been stabilising within the province since Feb 1 with 2,000 to three,000 vacationers entering Phuket every day. The resort occupancy price is hovering between 30-40% though that quantity will begin to come down subsequent week.”

OK, so I was never nice at maths. BUT… pre-Covid Phuket was receiving some 800,000 – 1 million guests per month.
Now there’s “2,000 to 3,000 vacationers coming into Phuket daily”, in accordance with Mr. Khoopongsakorn. That’s round 60-90,000 travellers per 30 days. And the occupancy price is at present 30-40%???

That both means about 70-80% of Phuket’s motels must nonetheless be closed or Phuket will want a hell of a lot more resorts if the numbers get anywhere near the 2019 levels once more. We know, however, that pre-Covid there was already a surfeit of resorts and lodging choices already in Phuket. So his figures don’t fairly add up.
Having mentioned all that, Phuket is not any totally different from some other vacation vacation spot on the planet with its assortment of holiday makers, expats and locals, plus those that attempt to take advantage of all of the above. It occurs to be my chosen house and I wouldn’t live anywhere else, despite the few wrinkles.
We will reach out to Mr. Kickstart to hunt clarification of his feedback..

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