Thai Tourism Phetchabun: A Microcosm Of All That Is Wrong In Thailand

A small Thai Tourism site in Phetchabun showed everyone, including the Minister of Tourism and Sports, everything that is wrong with Thai Tourism today.

It was a 3-day weekend for many Thais and they decided to descend upon Phetchabun to see the fog. Yes, the fog. Thai Tourism at its finest.

Thai Tourism Phu Thap Boek courtesy Bangkok Post

Thai Tourism Phu Thap Boek courtesy Bangkok Post

Or, maybe they wanted to see the illegal resorts that plague Thai Tourism.

Here are the Thai Tourism problems at this resort – Phu Thab Berk:

No planning. One road in and out that was chock-a-block with vehicles made even worse when the Minister of Tourism and Sports showed up and totally screwed up traffic.

Many of the resorts are illegal – on land that doesn’t belong to them. Obviously, they are not registered with the Thai Government and pay no taxes. This is typical of Thai Tourism.

Resorts at Phu Thab Berk are sub-standard and require repairs. But, repairs cost money and what resort owner wants to spend money.

Poor planning. Poor management. Illegal resorts. So, what is the solution? What did the Minister of Tourism and Sports and the rest of the Thai Tourism officials come up with?

“Actually, we would like to control the number of tourists at Phu Thap Boek but we do not want to destroy the tourism atmosphere which is gaining momentum,” said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Surasak Karnjanarat.

How? Block the road and piss off those who drove 300-400 kilometers that are sent away?

“We are finding compromise measures which will help Phu Thap Boek develop sustainably,” he said.

Uh, no. They are not. Can’t do something that you know nothing about.

“Phu Thap Boek might be popular this year, but maybe not next year due to more rubbish, a deterioration in facilities and water shortages,” Gen Surasak said.

That is how most Thai Tourism sites wind up because no one knows how to plan and/or doesn’t really care about tomorrow.

Such problems could arise because of poor management, he said.


As a result, agencies need to work together to complete a master plan for the area’s management within three months.

Too bad this will never happen since “agencies” don’t play well together. And, if they were actually going to do something, why not a master plan for all sites with just an appendix for anything site specific.

The minister said the plan will be designed to promote sustainable development and maintain a balance between tourism and nature.

No. It will destroy nature all for the almighty baht.

The ministry will ban the construction of more resorts until the plan is complete.

Kind of too late for this.

Existing structures that are found to be legal will have to be renovated to match local nature and culture and strengthened to boost safety.

What about the illegal ones? What will actually be done to match nature and culture? What safety measures? All empty words.

According to a report by an engineering team in Phetchabun provice, the structures of all 62 existing resorts in Phu Thap Boek are sub-standard and unsafe for tourists.

Each and every resort is a safethy hazard. In a real country that cared about tourists, this complete site would be shut down until all resorts were up to standard.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said the ministry will support a plan to try and boost sustainable tourism in the area by promoting the Hmong ethnic minority’s identity so it can be passed on to future generations.

This is good, but the Thai people only wanted to see the fog.

She said the ministry has agreed that further construction of facilities must be undertaken to strike a balance between development and preservation of nature.

Sounds good but never happens.

Regarding any measures to curb the number of tourists, the tourism minister said limitations on road infrastructure to the mountainous area are a key factor that will automatically reduce tourist numbers. “They will not be happy spending several hours in a car to reach their destination,” she said, referring to traffic jams on the road to Phu Thap Boek on the weekend.

They had to spend several extra hours in their vehicles as the Thai Police cleared a path for you. Simple solution is a parking area away from the resorts and hourly shuttles – but that makes sense.

“We [the Tourism Ministry] do not want to promote only one tourist site. Please do not pack into only one site. We have still many beautiful places to go,” she said.

There you go. The Minister of Tourism and Sports admits that their domestic travel promotions are a complete failure – especially the Discover Thainess and the 12 hidden gems – since no one apparently knows about these Thai Tourism sites.

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Categories:   TAT, Thailand


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