Phuket no longer be a world class tourism destination (EP. 2)

โรงแรม ท่องเที่ยว ภูเก็ต
Wichit Na Ranong said Phuket may no longer be counted as a world class tourism destination (EP. 2)

Phuket was developed without a direction but no longer be a world class tourism destination Managing Director of the Slate Hotel and a former president of Thai Tourism Council of Thailand, Wichit Na Ranong said since there is no Tourism Development Plan, infrastructure and other public facilities could not be developed to cope with the unidirectional development.

No one talked about sustainable tourism, social impact, economic impact, environment deterioration, carrying capacity, etc. Laws and regulations were not strictly enforced resulting in land intrusion, unorganized activities on the beach, tourists mistreated, crime, etc.

โรงแรม ท่องเที่ยว ภูเก็ต
Wichit  Na Ranong

Nobody claimed to be the real owner of the issue. Government only had a tourism promotion policy without any translation into actions. It’s even worse when they were aiming only at the number of tourists without talking about quality tourism.  It’s getting worse when the authority and budget are decentralized to local administration,

whose knowledge on quality tourism is limited or absent.

The future of Phuket is in serious danger

He said governors are appoint from the central government with less power and serve in very short terms. Many said they come and they go but problems stay.

“Now who could be identifie as a real owner or a real host of this issue.  It seems hopeless. The real sectors are the ones who absorb the impact first hand. If they (the real sectors) are not getting up and make a loud noise and keep pushing respective authorities to wake up and perform their duties like what had happened in the early days, the future of Phuket is in serious danger.”  

Phuket world class tourism destination
Pulley Pool and Bar Overall

As tourism popularity has also attracted other businesses to take place here whether it be real estate, medical, sport, education, etc, there are more stakeholders to pull the effort together to bring Phuket back to its fair status and condition. 

Phuket Needs to improve beaches to be tourism destination

He said tourists come to Phuket for the beach and if the beach is not attractive,

there is no reason for them to come. We don’t have to try to improve any other facilities if the core product is deteriorating as the tourists won’t come anyway.”

He also criticised central and local authorities for their inability to address the problems.

“Most of the governing bodies in Phuket, unfortunately, don’t understand tourism development in depth yet

and there is no evidence that they have engaged any expert for advice.”

“They may know tourism from the tourist’s perspective, but do not consider the view of professional tourism administrators to manage the destination. This has created a concern as they have both money and authority, but fail to do their job thoroughly.” he argues.

Moreover, governors appointed by the Central Government come for just a short period of time and move on. “How could they solve the problems in such a time frame?

“I have heard many people say they come and they go but the problems stay. The old problems remain unsolved and the new ones are accumulating.”

Mr Wichit said Phuket’s beaches are the core products. There are many shops, bars, food stalls, restaurants,

sun beds, discotheques and other businesses along the beach that make a mess out of the core product itself.

The beaches must be clean and well organized, otherwise it is useless trying to improve or create other attractive services and facilities.

Andaman airport is not the real solution, instead of MICE tourism development

โรงแรม ภูเก็ต ท่องเที่ยว
The Slate

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin drives tourism as priority because the tourism industry is the fastest tool to generate income to the country.

“PM visited Phuket many times, but he doesn’t know or may be overlooking that Phuket could attract the highest 14 million  visitors in 2019 and nine million in 2023, but similar income.”

“The statistics showed Phuket has already been a quality tourism destination. Phuket doesn’t need a high number of tourists, but needs quality visitors instead. Too many visitors may destroy Phuket

and the government needs to allocate a budget to take care of the visitors more and more”.

He disagreed with the government policy to develop Andaman airport because it is not a real solution for Phuket.

“Phuket should be develop as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions tourism (MICE tourism). The province may need investment on a large scale of convention that certainly can create benefits to Phuket and the country.”

He hopes party concerns will hear his voice and look back to Phuket and start to consider what is the real direction for Phuket tourism.

The Tourism Council of Thailand

Relate News : Phuket may no longer be count as a world class tourism destination (EP. 1)