Phuket touts new centres for visitors
Phuket: With more than 15 million visitors per year, this resort island plans to open 10 tourist service centres at its main beaches to offer assistance to visitors around the clock.
Speaking at the launch of one of the 10 tourist service centres at Patong, a beach resort town in Kathu district, provincial governor Noraphat Plodthong said the centre has a wide range of services on offer, from a free local map to basic legal advice.
English- and Chinese speaking students from Phuket Rajabhat University will be recruited to serve an internship at the centres, he said, adding the students will work together with staff in handling tourists' requests for help.
Aside from the Patong centre, there will be another such centre in Kathu district, at Kamala Beach. The main tourist service centre will be set up at Phuket's provincial office of disaster prevention and mitigation in Muang district, while another five such centres will be set up at Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Nai Han Beach, Phromthep Cape and Rawai Beach Wharf, said the governor.
The other tourist service centres will be set up at Surin and Nai Yang Beaches in Thalang district, he said.
These tourist service centres are part of the province's efforts to position itself as an international tourist city with sustainable development, he said.
In addition to the service centres, 3,400 security cameras will be installed over the province to improve public safety and better protect natural resources, he said.
Jatuphon Burutphat, director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, meanwhile, said his department is asking the public to take part in its efforts to make coastal areas in Phuket and other provinces cleaner places and better protect coastal resources.
The department's campaign to make 24 beaches in 15 provinces, including Phuket, smoke-free areas by providing smoking corners in nearby areas has been successful so far, he said.
In Patong, for instance, 26 smoking spots are provided and local administrative authorities had reported back that they had collected almost 30 kilogrammes of cigarette butts from those areas each month, he said.