SATURDAY, February 24, 2024
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Phuket comes to standstill after flood damages 2 highways, Prayut urged to help

Phuket comes to standstill after flood damages 2 highways, Prayut urged to help

Phuket business leaders representing 15 tourism industry groups wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha calling on him to “urgently” order the repair of two major roads.

The letter said the Nesat typhoon, which swept over the island province last week flooded most areas and severely damaged Highway 4028 in Kathu district.

Land subsidence has also damaged a section of Highway 4029, which connects the busy Patong tourist area with Phuket downtown and the international airport.

The road damage has made the road impassable since October 19, the letter said.

Approximately 18,000 people use this road daily and the obstruction is damaging tourism businesses in the Patong area and denting confidence in Phuket’s tourism sector, the letter added.

Though there are two alternative roads, they are far smaller and go through hilly areas, which makes travel tougher.

It now takes 90 minutes to get from Phuket downtown to Patong and at least two hours from the airport, almost double the time spent previously.

Phuket comes to standstill after flood damages 2 highways, Prayut urged to help

The letter said the highway should be quickly repaired to help offset the room cancellations caused by flooding and road damage.

The business groups also warned that a delay in the repair would undermine confidence in Phuket’s tourism, with direct negative impacts on businesses in Patong and the province’s economy as a whole.

“We ask your excellency to consider instructing the responsible agencies to expedite the repair of Highway 4029 so it can be used again as soon as possible,” the letter read.

The business groups that jointly signed the letter include the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Phuket Tourism Businesses, the Federation of Phuket Industries, the Patong Hotel Association, and the Association of Phuket Tour Operators.

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