Sure, the concept is great; tourists and local residents would love it – but it’s the pragmatism of making the cable car a sustainable reality that lets it down. Phuket is a place where officials and private tour business operators have enough trouble keeping tourists safe on land or on water, nevermind hanging 80 metres in the air.
Archawin Sitaputra, President of JH Cable Car Thailand Co Ltd, certainly has done the right thing by first explaining that construction will be controlled by a French company, “which is expert in building cable car systems.” Bringing experienced companies from overseas in to make sure the construction is to spec is a good start. The problem is the ongoing operation and maintenance. Think zipline rides in Chiang Mai.
This is not to disparage the idea. It is refreshing to see a novel idea put forward that will only contribute as a value-add attraction to the island.
People on holidays need a break from the beach and shopping every now and then, and it’s also an attractive idea for young adults as well as families. Yet, so was the long imagined “world’s largest” Ferris wheel that was prominently announced three years to be built on 30-40 rai just west of Chao Fa West Rd in Wichit. At last report, that project still has yet to break ground.
Safety is paramount for any new attractions in Phuket, and despite the term being used ad nauseum by officials this is where Phuket’s “tourism image” really does come into play. Phuket’s reputation as a safe destination to take a holiday has taken a battering this past year alone, not including the Phoenix disaster that killed 47 tourists in July 2018.
If Mr Archawin and his company can manage to produce a tourist attraction that is safe, we’ll take our hats off to them. It would be a genuine first for Phuket.