There was a time earlier this year when the Novotel in Phuket was packed with tour groups from Mainland China. Businesses everywhere are booming because of the continued arrivals of Chinese tourists. Sadly, a few months since the unfortunate accident wherein a tour boat called Phoenix capsized on the ocean of Phuket, the number of Chinese tourists starts to dwindle down. According to authorities, the boat met a storm which caused the vessel to capsize which resulted to the death of 47 Chinese nationals who were planning to get to the island for a vacation.
Phuket Tourism Association has seen the decline in the number of tourists and the organization believes that the government and the local authorities should do something in order to bring back the confidence of the Chinese tourists which will lead them to trust going back to Phuket for vacations once more.
Phumkit Raktae-ngam, the president of the association, said that the accident involving the Phoenix boat is the main reason why the tourists from Mainland China are no longer interested in visiting Phuket because they have a lot of concerns when it comes to their safety.
Mr. Phumkit said that they have noticed that around half of the tour groups have stopped coming back to the island with their tourists. Chinese visitors are not sure that they will be safe while in the country therefore they have put off most of their vacations going to Phuket.
He added that the solution to the problem lies in the main cause. For now, they still failed to make any progress with the boat which is still under water. As measures for added safety, the government has to improve the human resources in order to make sure that the safety of the public is prioritized and that communication is maintained between the Chinese guests and the local authorities.
It is not recommended to rely on the Chinese government alone to relay the message that Thailand wanted to send. Once the problem has been solved from the root, Mr. Phumkit is positive that the number of tour groups will go back to usual after half a year of action. It is only a matter of time before Novotel in Phuket is faced with bookings from tour groups with no rest in sight.