Phi Phi park chief asks to be transferred

The chief of the Haad Nopparat Thara-Phi Phi Islands national park in Krabi province has asked to be transferred out of the park to work in somewhere else following a protest by boat operators to demand a cut in entry fees to the park on Wednesday.

Mr Sarayuth Tanthien tendered his resignation letter from the park chief on Wednesday evening to his boss, Mr Tunya Netithamkul, director-general of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Department, who is yet to respond to his request.

Sarayuth told reporters on Wednesday that he had been in the post at the park for one year and seven months during which, he said, he had been working hard almost without a rest.

Sarayuth said boat operators had been pressing for a 50 percent cutback in the entry fee for foreign tourists � 400 baht for adults and 200 baht for children � before his appointment as the park chief.

Meanwhile, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Gen Surasak Kanchanarat maintained that the entry fees for foreign tourists are reasonable and much cheaper when compared to park entry fees in foreign countries.

He said that entry fees provide a source of income for parks to improve and develop conditions in the parks.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)