Oil spill in Rayong leads to 4,000 room cancellations on Samet

Hoteliers and hospitality workers said on Tuesday that an oil spill in Rayong is dampening the tourism sentiment in the tourist resort of Koh Samet and urged the government to mitigate the damage as quickly as possible.

Koh Samet, just off the coast of Rayong, has seen oil slicks stain its beaches as a result of an underwater pipeline rupture last Tuesday. The pipeline is owned by the Star Petroleum Refining Company.

On Friday, the leaked oil reached Mae Rampueng seashore in Rayong. The main mass of oil is now heading to Ao Prao, a small bay on Samet Island, according to local news reports.

The hospitality sector, which has already been hit hard by the pandemic, say that the oil spill is further eroding tourism numbers on the island.

Sarinthip Tupmongkholsup, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samet, told reporters that the government must take responsibility on the matter and do its utmost to clean the spill as fast as possible.

“The company should take responsibility in this matter. The impact of this massive oil shouldn’t be left for locals to face alone.”

Sarinthip said that the oil spill has affected about 150 hotels, including 4,000 room booking cancellations

“No one has yet mentioned about the remedies or sent officials to inspect the area or people who have suffered from this” Sirinthip said.

Mongkolkit Suksintharanon, the leader of the Thai Sriwilai party, told reporters today during his field visit on the island that he will inform the government.

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