Published on Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Angry taxi drivers in the popular Phuket beach area of Bang Tao have staged a second protest against Russian tour companies operating in the area.
A noisy group from the Baan Bangtao Taxi Club pulled down the signs of one of their primary targets, Alex Holiday Tour Company, alleging that the company was run by Russians who were undercutting local prices.
A city hall official told the Phuket Gazette: "Locals explained to me that the Russian-owned businesses were stealing tourists from them, which was having a significant effect on their income.
"In addition to offering tour packages and supplying tour guides, these businesses were telling tourists to avoid using local tuk-tuks and taxis," the official added.
According to local media reports, the Bang Tao protest follows similar concerns further south in the Karon beach region of Phuket where raids on Russian-run massage parlours closed shops for failing to abide by Thai laws.
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.