THIRTEEN Phuket business associations have jointly sent a letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urging him to order the quick repair of Highway 4029 that was damaged by floods triggered by tropical storm Nesat earlier this month as it links Patong beach to Phuket Town and the airport with both Thai and foreign tourists having difficulty getting around since Oct. 19, Matichon newspaper said today (Oct. 28).
Mr. Poomkit Raktaamngam, advisory chairman of Phuket Provincial Tourism Business Association, said aside from his group others include Phuket Chamber of Commerce, Phuket Real Estate Association, the Federation of Thai Industries Phuket and Southern Thai Hotels Association.
The heavy flooding during Oct. 15-20 had not only damaged parts of Highway 4029 but also Highway 4028 that runs through Kathu district. Many other areas of Phuket had also been damaged by landslides including the Old Town, Patong area and parts of Cherng Talay.
It is estimated that 18,000 tourists travel on Highway 4029 daily but subsidence caused by landslides had made it difficult for them to do so.
Poomkit pointed out that the state of the island’s roads and highways had begun to shake tourist confidence even though hotel occupancy rate for the fourth quarter this year is 65% and first quarter next 68% – the best rates since Covid-19 swept the world. Income during the two quarters is expected to reach 48 billion baht.
However there is a tendency to cancel booking especially in the Patong area and this will increase unless repairs are quickly made, he said.
The thirteen associations urged Gen. Prayut to issue a special order to agencies concerned to quickly find the budget and repair Highway 4029 as this will resolve a serious problem tourists are facing and boost confidence.
Top and Front Page: A landslide led to the Patong-Kathu road going across Patong hill subsiding. Photos: Matichon
Below: Some Phuket highways and roads that were damaged by the floods earlier this month. All photos: Matichon