Phuket marine tour operator urges government to avoid rising fuel prices

PHUKET: The CEO of Nikorn Marine Group, a major speedboat tour operator in Phuket, has urged the government to stop fuel prices from skyrocketing.

Prevent rising fuel prices so Phuket’s marine tour operators can stay in business, Nikorn Marine CEO Virintra Papakityotsaphat said yesterday (March 10). Photo: PR Phuket

The marine tourism sector is already being hit hard by rising fuel prices, Nikorn Marine CEO Virintra Papakityotsaphat said yesterday (10 March).

“Petrol prices have risen sharply, but we are not in a position to increase service prices. If we adjust our prices, there will be no tourists at all to use our services,” explained Mrs Virintra.

“Our business is mainly boat-based and we have been hit hard by rising global oil prices,” she said.

Ms. Virintra explained that fuel for boats used to cost around B20 per litre.

“But now the price has doubled, driving up the cost of doing business – and this while the maritime tourism industry is still suffering,” Ms Virintra said.

The impact of COVID-19 has also severely affected the industry, with tourists having less money to spend, she added.

Ms Virintra urged the government to slow the rise in fuel prices or at least help commercial operators in any way.

“Please prevent further fuel price hikes from rising so that maritime operators who are directly affected can continue to operate,” she said.