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On August 18th Mr Somsak Puresrisak, Minister for Tourism and Sports, and Mr. Suwat Sitthilo, Permanent secretary for Tourism and Sport held a conference for tour operators as well as hotel and restaurant owners in Koh Samet to discuss ways to build tourists confidence in the area before the coming high season after the area was badly impacted by an oil spill.
Plans for holding a road show were discussed that would encourage tourists to visit the island after the bad publicity it received after the PTT oil spill. Mr. Somsak said that there is an urgent need re-building confidence in the area that, although quiet most of the year, enjoys a busy high season.
Mrs. Jinrapat Sukgragang, 38, owner of the Putthra Bungalows said affected directly by the spill, said the ocean is now clean and visitors should not be concerned about eating the seafood in the area. She believes that tourists would quickly regain confidence in the area if the road show was to go ahead or word spread among visitors that the areas is no longer affected by pollution.
Mr Akkara Sunthorn, owner f the Cocktail Bar, said that he has seen an 80% drop in tourism and over the weekend there were virtually no tourists walking on the beach.
Story by Ann Kwanta