THE capsizing of a tourist boat last week which led to 47 tourists, believed to be all Chinese, drowning has led to Phuket hotel rentals dropping by 70% over the next 2 months with the impact being not less than 42 billion baht, the Thai-language daily Matichon reported today (July 14, 2018).
In revealing these startling figures Mr Chaiya Raphumphol, president of Andaman Tourism Association, urged the authorities to quickly rebuild confidence of tourism in Phuket within 3 months, as this has been growing at 350 billion baht a year.
To halt any further slide Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has ordered the port authorities to review sailing and boat security measures, with plans afoot to operate ports and piers the same way airports are run.
This would including amending the laws to give port officials more authority in handling cases whereby boat operators ignore their warnings.
It is expected that new security measures will be implemented by yearend.
Meanwhile Transport Ministry’s Permanent Secretary pointed out that the limited number of port officials has affected the control of boats, particularly private boats which sail at the discretion of the operators and the boat captains might have felt pressured.
Top: Two fishing boats moored off Phuket’s Mai Khao beach at sunset. Photo: Ben Reeves (CC-BY-2.0)