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Phuket Poll: Environmental damage, prices too high

Phuket Poll: Environmental damage, prices too high

PHUKET: The environmental damage caused by tourism and the cost of living in Phuket are both far too high, according to a vast majority of people responding to an online poll by The Phuket News.

environmenttourismeconomicsnatural-resources
By The Phuket News

Sunday 21 July 2019, 01:36PM


Sun, sand and sea can be enjoyed for free in Phuket, but many other things come at a pretty high price. Photo: The Phuket News File

Sun, sand and sea can be enjoyed for free in Phuket, but many other things come at a pretty high price. Photo: The Phuket News File

The online poll, which ran for just over one week and obtained in total nearly 800 responses, was launched at the request of Piramon Tisapramotkul, a student at Glenlyon Norfolk School in British Columbia, Canada. Mr Piramon is to include the results in an economic paper he is writing on the sustainability of tourism in Phuket.

The poll comprised two questions: 1) “Do you think the cost of living in Phuket is too high?”; and 2) “Do you think the environmental damage from tourism is too high?”

“I understand that there will definitely be limitations to the replies to the poll, but regardless, the poll is still an extremely valuable data source,” Mr Piramon admitted.

However, he added, “The results of the poll will be used in my paper to justify whether the government should implement more policies from tax to prohibition to regulate tourism in Phuket.”

An overwhelming response to both questions – more than 80% to each – marked that the environmental damage done and the cost of living were both too high.

In response to the question “Do you think the environmental damage from tourism is too high?”, 85% voted “Yes, the environmental damage from tourism is too high”.

A further 12% voted “The environmental damage from tourism in Phuket is acceptable compared with other tourist destinations around the world”, while the remaining 3% voted “No, the environmental damage from tourism is low” (see full results here).

Responses to the question “Do you think the cost of living in Phuket is too high?” were nigh identical: 85% voted “Yes, the cost of living in Phuket is too high”; 11% voted “The cost of living in Phuket is appropriate compared with living in other cities in Thailand”; and 3% voted “No, the cost of living in Phuket is not too high, prices could be even higher” (decimal place differences were rounded down thus not totaling 100%, see full results here).

By demographic, the responses were uniform: 88.19% of Thai nationals who took part in the poll said the cost of living was too high, as did 85.40% of local expatriate residents and 84.12% of foreign visitors to Phuket.

Only 10.47% of foreign visitors to Phuket believed that that the cost of living in Phuket is appropriate compared with living in other cities in Thailand. Some 5.42% thought prices could be higher.

Similarly, 13.50% of local expats who took part in the poll voted that the cost of living in Phuket was appropriate, with just 1.10% saying prices could be higher.

Thai nationals were disaffected, with 7.87% saying that prices on the island were appropriate and only only 3.94% believing that prices could be even higher.

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DeKaaskopp | 22 July 2019 - 11:37:39

And what would Mr.K like officials to do about those high prices? Force everyone to sell food at lower prices,or rent out apartments at lower prices? As an expat being able to compare prices,you should be able to take actions too.Like relocating !Sure there are other cheaper places for you,but not Singapore of course.

Kurt | 21 July 2019 - 15:46:09

Great Phuket Poll. Now waiting for response of Phuket Officialdom as the outcome is significant. Sicnificant for thai, living and working on Phuket, as well Expats who are very well able to compare prices with other locations.

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