“We obtained feedback from 1,624 participants on Phuket’s beaches including tourists, village headmen, students and private businesses in the area. The data was collected between Oct 2016 and Sept 2017,” said Dr Chantinee Boonchai who led the public announcement at the university yesterday.
Dr Chantinee, who is a lecturer at PSU and also a member of Andaman Environment and Natural Disaster Research Centre (ANED), added, “The main purpose of this research is to obtain information as the foundation strives to support the beach management and give officials in Phuket direction.
“The research is also for the community to unite and take action to preserve the environment that surrounds their lives,” she added.
“According to the survey, foreign tourists’ priority is to see a ‘natural’ beach without buildings. Their second priority is they want to see beaches that are clean without trash,” said Dr Chantinee.
“They also voted in agreement that with better beach management, as according to the survey, trash and water quality are not considered well managed. This is the result of asking 400 foreign tourists and 400 Thai tourists.”
Also in response to a survey of hundreds of foreign and Thai tourists, foreign tourists gave Patong, Kata and Karon beaches as their top choices, while Thai tourists preferred to visit Kata and Nai Yang beaches.
The event was also used to promote the “Smart Beach Project”, though which community groups could mark which beach areas they would help clean and what types of cleanups the groups would be carrying out.
“We also need supporters including students, expats or anyone to help hold activities to clean up trash, foam and polluting materials,” Dr Chantinee said.
People can register and report beach pollution through the Smart Beach Project website in Thai and English. (Click here.)
“All data collected will be handed over to Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong in the coming week for the next step in dealing with the issue,” Dr Chantinee added.
Additional reporting by Somkiat Haphonkla