Blockade of pier to Ko Lipe costing ‘THB10 million per day’ in lost tourism revenue
Protesters blockading Pak Bara Pier are costing Satun province 10 million baht per day in lost tourism revenue, local tourism businesses said on Wednesday.
A group of over 100 local fishermen parked their boats to block the waterway leading to Pak Bara Pier in La-ngu district on Wednesday to protest the arrest of 24 fishermen for allegedly trespassing in Tarutao National Park.
Protestors complain that the arrests last week were unfair as the national park overlaps with commercial fishing areas.
Pak Bara Pier is a gateway to the tourist islands of Ko Lipe, Ko Adang and Ko Ra Wi, as well as Tarutao National Park, said Samart Jaroenrit, president of the Tourist Business Association of Satun.
“Over 700 tourists are stranded on the boats as they could not dock at the pier due to the mob,” he said. “Some tourists were forced to transfer to speedboats heading to Laem Te Ban Pier, for an alternative route to Ko Lipe.”
Meanwhile, tourists returning from the islands are having to detour to other piers to get to the mainland so they don’t miss their flights, he added.
Samart estimated that the protest was costing the local tourism industry 10 million baht per day, citing tour groups who have reported cancellations due to the protest.
He urged authorities to step in and resolve the problem quickly, saying that a prolonged protest would hit tourism on Satun’s islands during the long holiday weekend for Makha Bucha Day on March 4-6.