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Going Down: Businesses on Phuket’s famed Bangla Rd suffer as clientele dries up


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Going Down: Businesses on Phuket’s famed Bangla Rd suffer as clientele dries up

Tanyaluk Sakoot

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Bars along Phuket's famed Bangla Rd in Patong are suffering hard as the regular tourist clientele source markets are drying up. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

PHUKET: The island’s top nightlife drawcard Bangla Rd in Patong is taking a battering in business this tourism high season despite officials reporting record numbers of tourist arrivals.

Sompoch Sukkaew, chief legal counsel of the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA), says that entertainment businesses in the area are suffering hard.

“Over the past three years, most bars were averaging about B90,000 revenue per day at this time of year,” he said. “Now they’re making just B40,000.

“Small bars in small streets off Bangla Rd used to average B40,000 to B50,000 a day, now they’re down to just B10,000 a day.”

Live music venues were suffering worse. “They used to average about B360,000 as day during the peak season, but now they’re making just B60,000 to B90,0000 per day,” Mr Somphoch said.

“In total, PEBA members generated about B1.5 million per day during the peak season. Now it’s down to about B540,000 per day,” he added.

Mr Somphoch noted that PEBA members account for 500 businesses in Patong, with at least 200 businesses in the Bangla Rd entertainment zone.

“Small businesses are suffering the worst,” said PEBA President Weerawit Kuresombat. “Bigger businesses are doing okay, but many businesses elsewhere in the entertainment zone, including in the usually busy sidestreets – such as Soi Tiger, Soi Freedom, Soi Sea Dragon and Soi Crocodile – are hurting.

“Many of these will close down soon,” he foretold.

Mr Somphoch also painted a grim picture for the immediate future of small nightlife businesses in the entertainment district.

“More than 40 bars in the entertainment zone will close down after this high season,” he said.

The plunge in Bangla trade is being felt elsewhere throughout the resort town as the knock-on effect spreads, affecting many other tourist-dependent businesses, Mr Weerawit added.

“All businesses are affected by this, like a network. It is also affecting motorbike rentals, small shops, restaurants and even hotels,” he said.

The huge shift in recent years for Phuket’s tourism industry to rely on Chinese arrivals tourists played a critical role in the current situation, Mr Weerawit noted.

“Chinese tourists are the top tourist arrival market in Phuket, and although we have huge numbers of Chinese coming here, most of them come on complete tour packages,” he said.

Full story: http://www.thephuketnews.com/going-down-businesses-on-phuket-famed-bangla-rd-suffer-as-clientele-dries-up-55868.php

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-- Phuket News 2016-01-23


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Thais need to learn to treat tourists as customers , we do not appreciate being ripped off robbed and cheated when we go on vacation. You h have the Chinese good luck with that, only chinese benefit .

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The record number tourists are Chinese tour groups. They don't spend any money in Thailand so that is just bummer. I remember that a teacher at prince of Songkla university where I was a student once said "we don't need you westerner tourists when we have Russians and Chinese." Hope that she is happy now.

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1. got too greedy and priced yourselves out of the market, same happened in walking street Pattaya

2. as above - price fixing cartels not allowing bars to drop their prices as they want too using threats and intimidation

3. The Chinese don't do bars, they might walk around looking but spend FA

Greed is destroying these places and the same patterns can be seen in Bangkok and Pattaya, as western visitors decline you will typically see the same destructive business pratice of increasing prices instead of rescueing tourism and the bar scene with reduced realistic pricing, supermarkets 7/11 and familymart are a good guide and a silid stake in the ground - if they didn't exist this country would be in ruins

fair pricing and your business will boom again

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Maybe the thing to do is to adapt these failing locations to businesses that suit the Chinese market. Besides from being economically priced, what kinds of bars, restaurants, shops, etc. do the Chinese want while on holiday? I was in Bangla years ago when my brother came to visit and it was dead then in December. Its seems that western tourists basically finished with that party spot ages ago (for many of the reasons mentioned -- mainly based on unpleasant and greedy people trying to get as much as possible for as little as possible). It's time to move on and serve your new tourist base.

Mahjong Parlors...Karaoke Spots? What's the general age and interests of the Chinese tourists? Put on your thinking caps guys and do things like approaching the tour companies to see what their clients want and make deals -- should work for restaurants and shops, maybe even the right kind of bar/karaoke parlor. Don't just sit and whine about selling less wine, so to speak. Adapt!!!

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Even as we speak, prices are going up in Soi Cowboy. Yet, I hear the girls complaining that it is quiet. My personal response to the higher prices is to go less often.

When the mamasan tells me I have not been in much, I say too expensive now. I doubt she got my point.

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The tourist commission goes on about a high season the only thing high is there charges but they will never learn it's the expats who are there bread and butter

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They screw tourists to the limit constantly. Now the govt., have elected to double the cost of a visa on arrival because visitors are not getting their visa from immigration prior to arrival. Well i thought that the VOA was all about convenience. Viet Nam and other nearby countries are going to be doing 'cartwheels' as spur of the moment tourists are going to see VOA Vietnam Bht 1000 VOA Thailand Bht 2000. But this is how Thais do business. Bungalow owners across the road from me 'jacked' the monthly rent up from Bht 7000 to Bht 12000 just because their neighbours were doing it. The bungalow has been empty for 10 months now, but they will not consider bring the rate down again. facepalm.gifcheesy.gif

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Even as we speak, prices are going up in Soi Cowboy. Yet, I hear the girls complaining that it is quiet. My personal response to the higher prices is to go less often.

When the mamasan tells me I have not been in much, I say too expensive now. I doubt she got my point.

Yup, I hear 2,000 Baht bar fines in some bars fronting Bangla. Says all you need to know about Thai economic theory.

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Well, many of these go-go bars can shutdown and die anyway, since they are prostitution venues and don't really attract anything positive. The best case scenario for Thailand is to transform its tourism industry to a more family oriented hub, instead of being a pedophile paradise for old western men. Nothing could be better than to send these former prostitutes back to their villages and start building up their future once and for all, and at the same time these low income lazy doers should return back to their home countries as well.

If Thailand is going to transform its economy for the better, it must do what is right and take the medical pill asap. Thais are basically one of the worst people to do business in terms of understanding economics and this transformation is indeed necessary.

Many of you guys are complaining that the Chinese aren't spending any money. They do in fact spend money and if you look in comparison how much they are making that makes them big buck spenders. They are also enjoying their vacations much better than an old westerner who much of the time only spends their holidays drinking cheap boos. No wonder why this place has become a stinking pig.

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interesting article. proves the Chinese tourists really don't spend money beyond their tour package costs.

i think the Communist Chinese tourists that come to Thailand don't have much money in the first place.

and I think that is true of most tourists in Thailand. low to lower middle class. The Chinese that do have money go to Hawaii or California for a vacation, not a dump like Thailand.

and frankly, i think they are scared to death in Thailand, as this might be the first time they have been outside their country.

They have been told what to do, eat, live, work all their lives, so they feel safe in groups being lead around.

and 2000 baht bar fine? hahahaha...

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Som nam naa.

The chickens have come home to roost...

Scamming, raping, robbing, drugging, mob-beating, and murdering guests in their country doesn't fare well on the world stage.

Social media is their downfall.

Major reason the autocrats are implementing a single gateway.

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7/11 cheapest and friendly experience these days don't get attacked by so called security along with other things.. like mivering you to order another beer when you just walk through the door and the girls mivering you to buy them a drink or ring the bell my days are over in bars ..

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Well, many of these go-go bars can shutdown and die anyway, since they are prostitution venues and don't really attract anything positive. The best case scenario for Thailand is to transform its tourism industry to a more family oriented hub, instead of being a pedophile paradise for old western men. Nothing could be better than to send these former prostitutes back to their villages and start building up their future once and for all, and at the same time these low income lazy doers should return back to their home countries as well.

If Thailand is going to transform its economy for the better, it must do what is right and take the medical pill asap. Thais are basically one of the worst people to do business in terms of understanding economics and this transformation is indeed necessary.

Many of you guys are complaining that the Chinese aren't spending any money. They do in fact spend money and if you look in comparison how much they are making that makes them big buck spenders. They are also enjoying their vacations much better than an old westerner who much of the time only spends their holidays drinking cheap boos. No wonder why this place has become a stinking pig.

nstead of being a pedophile paradise for old western men. Nothing could be better than to send these former prostitutes back to their villages and start building up their future once and for all. Plant rice, cut rubber to support their children and parents, and sometimes brothers and sisters. Yes, that is the answer. (obviously new to thailand)

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Nothing could be better than to send these former prostitutes back to their villages and start building up their future once and for all, and at the same time these low income lazy doers should return back to their home countries as well.

No wonder why this place has become a stinking pig.

Aren't you just a little ray of sunshine. Your world must be a very sad place to live.

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Som nam naa.

The chickens have come home to roost...

Scamming, raping, robbing, drugging, mob-beating, and murdering guests in their country doesn't fare well on the world stage.

Social media is their downfall.

Major reason the autocrats are implementing a single gateway.

And the gateway won't help either, only make matters worse. It's a real shame but Thailand is going down and there'll be no stopping it. Even more of a shame is how so many of us really wish the best for Thailand, and yet in doing so, we find ourselves saying the opposite.

It's not 'enough is enough', it's 'enough was enough', and thanks to their stupid governments the Thais are barely fathoming the horse bolted already. As I've said before they have to suffer to ever have a chance of improving their lot now. Meanwhile, their neighbours who know and understand suffering are already reaping the rewards as more of Thailand's former friends relocate to Cambodia, Viet Nam or elsewhere.

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whistling.gif This year (2016 is here now)the Chinese tourists are still coming but they won't be the money spending Chinese tourists that TAT wants.

China will not grow to meet their economic predictions this year no matter what the so-called experts say....and that means the days oft he free spending big shot Chinese businessman are gone for now.

Learn to deal with it.

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Nothing could be better than to send these former prostitutes back to their villages and start building up their future once and for all, and at the same time these low income lazy doers should return back to their home countries as well.

No wonder why this place has become a stinking pig.

Aren't you just a little ray of sunshine. Your world must be a very sad place to live.

He is a new poster who probably just started a new username to troll this post.

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Somehow i am NOT suprised ... was there the last time in spring 2015 and the prices for food in the evening did pretty much double in the last 5 years on average.

Sure there are still nice places where you get decent food for a fair price (fair doesnt mean as cheap as possible !) but it did get crazy expensive on average ! ( Phuket was never cheap but now its insane)

Only thing that didnt get more pricy was beer and hotel rooms.

Combine that with with a change from europeans (and on Phuket they did have big numbers of Skandinavians that did spend like home a few years back !) to chinese tourists and it will be a disaster soon because they come ALL INCL. and do spend shit outside of that package.

Sadly i did in the past very often hear ( even educated ) Thais say they do not need us western Tourists so we will see how they will do now.

Soon i expect to hear them complain why so many of us do not come back and that it is OUR fault they lack money because the chinese dont spend any.

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The record number tourists are Chinese tour groups. They don't spend any money in Thailand so that is just bummer. I remember that a teacher at prince of Songkla university where I was a student once said "we don't need you westerner tourists when we have Russians and Chinese." Hope that she is happy now.

a teacher at prince of Songkla university

Must have been a waste of time with teachers like that. Ever tried to get a job outside Thailand with your degree?

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