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"Expensive" Phuket dead as a dodo this high season


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12 hours ago, spidermike007 said:

The current administration (house of fools) could not have possible screwed this one up more, even if they were making an effort to deliberately destroy Western tourism. Sure, some Chinese are still coming. But, despite the surveys to the contrary, the average Chinese tourist does not spend much, and if they are spending alot, at least a portion of it stays home, with the tour operators, etc. Few Thais are really benefitting from the Chinese wave.

 

So, what happened? The Western tourists started to decline in number, and the genius minds at the TAT decided it was time to "lure" the Chinese. They came. They came in droves. But, they did not spend much money. Hotels, restaurants, gift shops, jewelers, galleries, spas, massage shops, bars, and countless other businesses suffered, and will continue to suffer from this extreme myopia, on the part of the officials in charge of tourism. Oh well. Can't say they were not warned. Zero baht tourists are the majority who visit Thailand now. Sure, they spend some money in restaurants, at the supermarket, and in 7/11. But, that is about it, for some of the super low budget Chinese tours. Not many rich Chinese are visiting Thailand, for a dozen good reasons. They have too many other options, and the services are nowhere near a world class standard. 

 

There are countless things the government could be doing, if they wanted to attract the high quality tourists. The very first thing would be to repeal the anti fareng wine bill, that was passed by a few very corrupt senators way back when, to protect an anemic local wine industry. They are losing billions of dollars a year in revenue, that would be had from a 100% wine duty, instead of over 300%. The five star hotels would have major wine events, and the entire industry would flourish here. Then of course, there are the local merchants and hotel owners. I agree, they have priced themselves out of the market. Bangkok is a better deal than Phuket. Samui is equally stupid, when it comes to pricing. Hard to find an entree anywhere for less than 200-300 baht. Nearly all the little mom and pop restaurants that I used to frequent in Samui are gone, replaced by expensive places, that overcharge for everything on the menu. They are trying to make the place into a five star island, but without the services, expertise,  and english skills. When you add in the risks in terms of public safety, the boating accidents, the callousness on the part of law enforcement and the government, and the astonishing lack of real law enforcement, it scares people away. 

 

 

That's a hell of a statement ...'losing billions of dollars a year in revenue', but you made a good point..

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17 minutes ago, bojo said:

That's a hell of a statement ...'losing billions of dollars a year in revenue', but you made a good point..

That's quite easy.  Chinese tourists make up more than a quarter of the arrivals last year.  Total revenue was more than 50 billions of dollars.  So yes, Chinese tourists affects the GDP here if they stop coming.

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20 minutes ago, farangx said:

That's quite easy.  Chinese tourists make up more than a quarter of the arrivals last year.  Total revenue was more than 50 billions of dollars.  So yes, Chinese tourists affects the GDP here if they stop coming.

You are missing the point and that is that the OP says that an extortionate wine revenue is costing the country. It might be to a certain extent, but certainly doesn't run into billions of dollars.

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I stopped going a few years ago for the above  and other reasons.I have travelled all over Thailand and many years ago it was a great place.Its now the one I like least,hopefully other parts of Thailand will pay note.

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Went to Karon beach a few years ago,our hotel was full of Russians my wife was the only thai staying in the hotel,getting to the buffet breakfast was like the start of the Boston marathon, never again,just experienced the same in Pattaya a few months ago with chinnese,people dont need that crap fighting for food at breakfast,my friends that used the come here go to Bali or the Philippines now,much cheaper,
Kanchanaburi is pretty quiet now too,cheers
You can not escape the Chinese. By the time you get to those places.. Which you won't.. The Chinese will be there waiting for you
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Same experience for me when I visited Pattaya - very glad to return to Isaan after just 3 days.
What part of Pattaya was expensive? The 10 baht bus? 55 baht beers? Resteraunts or the nights market selling 50 baht food? Hotels from 500 baht a might?

I don't live there but bangkok but go there several times a year for a break. I doubt isaan is much cheaper but then again how desperate are people to save 10 baht..
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1 hour ago, bojo said:

You are missing the point and that is that the OP says that an extortionate wine revenue is costing the country. It might be to a certain extent, but certainly doesn't run into billions of dollars.

Oh, if you are talking about wine, then wine definitely won't run that much.  I won't play more than 900b for a bottle of wine, unless I really need it.  I rather spend 2500b duty free when I fly in.

 

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42 minutes ago, madmen said:
6 hours ago, grego49 said:
Went to Karon beach a few years ago,our hotel was full of Russians my wife was the only thai staying in the hotel,getting to the buffet breakfast was like the start of the Boston marathon, never again,just experienced the same in Pattaya a few months ago with chinnese,people dont need that crap fighting for food at breakfast,my friends that used the come here go to Bali or the Philippines now,much cheaper,
Kanchanaburi is pretty quiet now too,cheers

You can not escape the Chinese. By the time you get to those places.. Which you won't.. The Chinese will be there waiting for you

But you must go now while you still stand a chance.

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19 hours ago, Just1Voice said:

Thai's greed for the almighty baht will be their downfall. 

first off all you should be more precise .who you mean ?

as i before has told tax here had gone up with up too 300 %, some cases from year to year.

the tax on alcohol up with 30 to 50 % .

all in last 4 years ,beach chair remove and rise price up too 100 % ,taxi make "legal" price up ,dont know exactly ,but at least 50% up ,as people tell me in price they paid.

the fines from police had gone up with hundredth of% ,after there road safety campaign ,wich does not work ,as it more or less target foreigner .

result is, we can just wach ,the thais must act if they want to change.

but the greed or stupidity are all on the government ,the prices are expensive for everyone, not only tourist .

you see, the increased tax ,is on shop owners ,as well as landowners ,up to 300% and it was not cheap before either .

think gasoline 1 barrel 4 years ago compare price with today and and equally selling price from gas station before and today.

and where do they most come from .

plane math it all add up to this, not only less tourist ,but high differents between poor and rich ,so just maybe its on purpose .

as it over time will remove the power from the incredible rich landowners here back too the equally rich in bangkok.

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19 hours ago, Oziex1 said:

Remember the guy who recently said tourism was down by 20% he was replaced by the guy who said it was up by 20%.

Never let the facts get in the way of the required message.  All  budding politicians learn that in the cradle.

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6 hours ago, madmen said:

What part of Pattaya was expensive? The 10 baht bus? 55 baht beers? Resteraunts or the nights market selling 50 baht food? Hotels from 500 baht a might?

I don't live there but bangkok but go there several times a year for a break. I doubt isaan is much cheaper but then again how desperate are people to save 10 baht..

I was in Jomtien where a small beer cost me 100 baht, my room in a "converted house" was 1,000 baht per night, a bowl of noodle ?? soup was also 100 baht. I must have been in the wrong area.

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Except for girls/ladyboys for rent what can a tourist do in Phuket? Go in an unsafe boat or beach without lifeguards? Or getting scammed by the taxi's/tuktuk's?

 

I haven't been there for a decade but i bet nothing has changed, the rude Russians have been replaced by unmannered Chinese and prices have gone up i guess...well i know much better places for our holidays where all is developed, safe and affordable.

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My friends say the Flights are too expensive, every friend says so. Exchange rate, not mentioned, but what is are shutting night venues early, cant buy a Beer when you like, and farting about with Visas, poor English for a Tourist Country.Most go to the US now.

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I'm afraid its a case of you reap what you sow.  Tourists have been ripped off, the dual pricing,  the horrific carnage on the roads, nothing done to look after the safety of tourists, tourists in their sixties beaten up by drunk thai thugs, suspicious deaths not investigated to the satisfaction of the bereaved, expensive hotels, unpleasant rude locals, poor infrastructure, uncollected garbage strewn all over the place, rip off taxis, a constant blame culture as in its always the tourists fault, filthy beaches with no rubbish bins (but still blame the tourists,)  charging 5* prices for 2* service, Thai baht ridiculously strong against pound, euro and dollar......

 

Guess what, tourists are going elsewhere, who would have thought it!!!

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The more I read this, and other similar topics, the more I become aware that there is an incredible amount of dirt poor, or subsistence pensioners, living as expats in Thailand. The uproar from many when it became likely they would have to actually prove income consistent with Immigration guidelines, further proved the theory. 

However, one of the great things about this country is that it can provide a place to live for all, commensurate with their income levels. Appreciate this.

Phuket is more expensive than nearly anywhere else in Thailand because it is one of the world's premier tourist destinations. There are rip offs galore in the tourist areas as in any popular tourist site. 

However, very few local expats live as tourists here, instead we shop in street markets, at Tesco, Makro, et al, the same as everyone else in the country. We live in jungles, farmland, smaller islands or near deserted beaches. We may pay a little more than elsewhere for a plate of rice. Big deal, it's still very cheap compared to where we originated!

Some of you characters who haven't been to Phuket for 10, 20 or even 30 years , but are still banging on about being overcharged for a drink (it's never happened to any other drinker!),  should, firstly get up to date knowledge of the place - you wouldn't recognize it from those days and secondly, get on with your life wherever it is that you've found your personal paradise, and stop moaning about other places that don't suit you! 

 

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34 minutes ago, Burma Bill said:

I was in Jomtien where a small beer cost me 100 baht, my room in a "converted house" was 1,000 baht per night, a bowl of noodle ?? soup was also 100 baht. I must have been in the wrong area.

You certainly were! I live in East Pattaya. Nearest bar to me, Leo 50 baht. Best Kwai Teow (noodle soup) with pork short rib (enough for a main meal) that I've ever eaten, 50 baht from a permanent cart outside my local 7/11. Lovely motel/ restaurant with room by the pool and breakfast, 700 baht, 5 minutes from my house.

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31 minutes ago, Old Croc said:

The more I read this, and other similar topics, the more I become aware that there is an incredible amount of dirt poor, or subsistence pensioners, living as expats in Thailand. The uproar from many when it became likely they would have to actually prove income consistent with Immigration guidelines, further proved the theory. 

However, one of the great things about this country is that it can provide a place to live for all, commensurate with their income levels. Appreciate this.

Phuket is more expensive than nearly anywhere else in Thailand because it is one of the world's premier tourist destinations. There are rip offs galore in the tourist areas as in any popular tourist site. 

However, very few local expats live as tourists here, instead we shop in street markets, at Tesco, Makro, et al, the same as everyone else in the country. We live in jungles, farmland, smaller islands or near deserted beaches. We may pay a little more than elsewhere for a plate of rice. Big deal, it's still very cheap compared to where we originated!

Some of you characters who haven't been to Phuket for 10, 20 or even 30 years , but are still banging on about being overcharged for a drink (it's never happened to any other drinker!),  should, firstly get up to date knowledge of the place - you wouldn't recognize it from those days and secondly, get on with your life wherever it is that you've found your personal paradise, and stop moaning about other places that don't suit you! 

 

Yup, it sure looks like"one of the worlds premier tourist destinations"    Classic!!  keep living in the past!!!  If you are right I suppose the big lure must be the garbage strewn streets, filthy beaches and poor quality of service.

 

Considering its Z"one of the worlds premier tourist destinations" i will presume they are all hiding.

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Its not only Phuket.  Been running my restaurant in Koh Phangan for 13 years and I have never seen a year like this.  Summer was a bust.  August awful and normally a good month.  Resorts are empty, no need to book ahead except maybe the few days over new years.  Samui is empty.  Each and every tourist related business is hurting.  The busy season has yet to come but I have low expectations.  Police and army show up to every party.  Hassling the owners, arresting the DJ's, confiscating speakers and DJ equipment and ordering some of the smaller parties to close at midnight.  If there is a crowd pretty much anywhere it won't last long as the police will come and shut down whatever fun is happening.  Customers are coming in asking for advice on where is fun and I have little good information to tell. 

 

There is no solution in sight.  The local business owners are not rallying the local government nor police to loosen the constant crackdowns on anything even slightly fun.  Us farang business owners have no power or sway to do anything but dread our monthly staff salary payments and swallow it.  If the baht lost about half its value I could see a bounce back but in my opinion if your in the tourism business money can now be made from Christmas till the end of April and that's it.  If your dreaming of opening your dream bar or restaurant in paradise you better have some money in the bank before you sign that lease.  

 

For those looking to visit I wish I could report prices dropping due to low demand but I have seen very few cases of that.  Thai economics reigns.  Fewer customers charged more per item to make up for decreased demand.  The icing on the cake is yes you might have that beautiful beach all to yourself!

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10 hours ago, bojo said:

That's a hell of a statement ...'losing billions of dollars a year in revenue', but you made a good point..

 

But, I believe it is true. Thailand would have a very dynamic wine industry, if only the goons would finally acknowledge that the local wine growers produce a highly inferior product, do not produce enough of it, and that imports would generate more revenue, at a far lower duty rate of 100%, as the volume would increase exponentially. Also, it would contribute dramatically to Thailand being the world class destination the authorities and resort owners so desperately want it to be. Duty holds the country back on so many levels. Luxury taxes bog down the economy. This is an era of globalization, like it or not. Fighting that trend only penalizes the nations who are small minded enough to wage that battle. There would be major wine festivals, and events at five star hotels, which would attract the super wealthy. Those people have little interest in spending time in a country that overcharges for products like wine and luxury goods. 

 

However, I do acknowledge that I am applying those bizarre notions called common sense, intellectual analysis, and reason. Fat chance!

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1 hour ago, Old Croc said:

The more I read this, and other similar topics, the more I become aware that there is an incredible amount of dirt poor, or subsistence pensioners, living as expats in Thailand. The uproar from many when it became likely they would have to actually prove income consistent with Immigration guidelines, further proved the theory. 

However, one of the great things about this country is that it can provide a place to live for all, commensurate with their income levels. Appreciate this.

Phuket is more expensive than nearly anywhere else in Thailand because it is one of the world's premier tourist destinations. There are rip offs galore in the tourist areas as in any popular tourist site. 

However, very few local expats live as tourists here, instead we shop in street markets, at Tesco, Makro, et al, the same as everyone else in the country. We live in jungles, farmland, smaller islands or near deserted beaches. We may pay a little more than elsewhere for a plate of rice. Big deal, it's still very cheap compared to where we originated!

Some of you characters who haven't been to Phuket for 10, 20 or even 30 years , but are still banging on about being overcharged for a drink (it's never happened to any other drinker!),  should, firstly get up to date knowledge of the place - you wouldn't recognize it from those days and secondly, get on with your life wherever it is that you've found your personal paradise, and stop moaning about other places that don't suit you! 

 

 

"However, very few local expats live as tourists here" - as previously mentioned, the lack of tourism is no real bother for expats.  However, if / when such tourism declines to the point that, as expats, our choices become limited, then that may see expats leave Phuket as well. 

 

I have often said, when the day comes I struggle to find a decent Sunday roast on the island, or have to travel too far for a roast, then I am out of here.  This is just an example, but you can see the idea behind it.  With a rapidly declining western market here, and an aging expat population, I expect expat numbers will also decline here in the future as well, which is also bound to effent small, medium, and big businesses here.

 

We must remember that the OP heading is, "Expensive Phuket dead as a dodo this high season."  Expats don't have "a season" as we live here all year round, thus, the OP is about tourists.  

 

As I have said in the past, Phuket used to be a great advertisement for itself.  People would come to holiday here for the first time, based on recommendation, then return here for holidays, time after time, with many aspiring to retire here, and many eventually doing so.  That "advertisement" is not happening now.  If tourists are not coming here, that surely must have an effect on future expat numbers here in the future, no matter what the cost of living here is.

 

So, whilst you call out those that came here, found it expensive, and are "moaning" about it on this thread, just think about all the people that are not coming here anymore, or those that will never come here for their first time, and remember thant many of those people would have become Phuket's future expats.  So, without tourists, who will be  replacing the expats here after they have passed?  It doesn't make for a good economic outlook for Phuket with declining western tourists, and expats.

 

"Phuket is more expensive than nearly anywhere else in Thailand because it is one of the world's premier tourist destinations." - the term "World Class Tourist Destination" is often used by The TAT to describe Phuket.  For me, Phuket has a very well connected international airport, but apart from that, really, what is truly "world class" about Phuket????  Serious question, OC.  Can you name some things that are "world class" on Phuket?  You may chose a very nice resort, but it is surrounded by "Phuket Thainess" and failing infrastructure.

 

Phuket is the most expensive holiday destination in South East Asia, Singapore aside.  Years ago, I could see why Phuket could demand premium prices, but I really don't think those prices can be justified now, and that is not "moaning" because as a visa runner, I see what is on offer in neighboring countries, and their prices.

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49 minutes ago, spidermike007 said:

 

But, I believe it is true. Thailand would have a very dynamic wine industry, if only the goons would finally acknowledge that the local wine growers produce a highly inferior product, do not produce enough of it, and that imports would generate more revenue, at a far lower duty rate of 100%, as the volume would increase exponentially. Also, it would contribute dramatically to Thailand being the world class destination the authorities and resort owners so desperately want it to be. Duty holds the country back on so many levels. Luxury taxes bog down the economy. This is an era of globalization, like it or not. Fighting that trend only penalizes the nations who are small minded enough to wage that battle. There would be major wine festivals, and events at five star hotels, which would attract the super wealthy. Those people have little interest in spending time in a country that overcharges for products like wine and luxury goods. 

 

However, I do acknowledge that I am applying those bizarre notions called common sense, intellectual analysis, and reason. Fat chance!

Luxury taxes are the only way the country can get revenue. 

Income and business taxes are flouted as the black cash economy is 20 fold of the actual economy. 

Where else will they get their money to run the country? 

It's horrible I agree but it's necessary for Thailand. 

Look at all the Mercedes Benz cars on the road.

Black cash pays those monthly repayments I assure you. 

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18 hours ago, SuperTed said:

Phuket was the best of Thailand, 20 years ago! You could flip a condo for a profit 10 years ago. If you are still in that market today - good luck. 

 

Immigration has pushed out a lot of the Russian businesses there; a great improvement IMHO, but the Thais, many with Chinese backers, have stepped in to those businesses. May be even harder for small farang businesses to compete in the future. 

 

 

The OP was about Tourists and how empty of them, Phuket is. Care to comment on that ?  :thumbsup:

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56 minutes ago, hansgruber said:

Luxury taxes are the only way the country can get revenue. 

Income and business taxes are flouted as the black cash economy is 20 fold of the actual economy. 

Where else will they get their money to run the country? 

It's horrible I agree but it's necessary for Thailand. 

Look at all the Mercedes Benz cars on the road.

Black cash pays those monthly repayments I assure you. 

 

Nice to see you posting Hans ...

 

You well know that Thais at every economic level avoid or just don't pay taxes as they well know that government at every level just waste or pocket the money.

 

I have no idea why taxes causes Phuket to be more 'expensive'.

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