Phuket Vice Governor Khajornkiet Rakpanichmanee presided over the meeting, which was held at the Phuket Merlin Hotel in Phuket Town, reported the Phuket office of the Public Relations Dept.
Joining the meeting, described as a workshop to address Chinese tourism concerns, were Ms Wang Huijuan, head of the Phuket Consular Office, which is attached to the Chinese Consulate in Songkhla;
Zhou Haicheng, who is the Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Songkhla; and Zhang Xinhong, director of the China National Tourism Administration in Thailand
“We held a workshop today as a large number of Chinese tourists have come to Thailand this year, especially to Phuket and Krabi, where many of them have been involved in accidents, both in water and on the road,” V/Gov Khajornkiet explained.
“The Chinese Consulate in Songkhla organised this meeting and workshop with local officials to find ways to improve safety for Chinese tourists and to reduce the number of (Chinese tourists) injured and killed (while on tour in Phuket and Krabi).
“The Chinese Consulate also seeks help and an exchange of ideas on many issues on tourism,” he said.
“At the meeting, we reported the current situation including the number of accidents involving Chinese tourists in 2015-2016, and the Chinese Consulate in Songkhla asked every (Thai) department involved with tourism to warn Chinese tourists (of dangers) by posting signs in Chinese language at beaches, and at hotels,” the PR Dept reported V/Gov Khajornkiet as saying.
“We also discussed transport safety, especially travelling on speedboats, travelling on bus over Patong Hill, motorbike rentals and jet-ski rentals,” he said.
The PR Dept in its report did not reveal the statistics V/Gov Khajornkiet said were reported to the key Chinese officials, or explain in any detail what action is to be taken to help reduce the number of Chinese tourists maimed or killed while on holiday in or around Phuket.
However, the Chinese delegation noted that 44 Chinese tourists had died from drowning, including 18 tourists dying from snorkelling activities, in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi from January 2015 to August 2016.
The delegation also presented a brochure written in Mandarin to remind Chinese tourists of the dangers road safety and water safety. The brochure itself highlights how many Chinese tourist have drowned over the past 20 months.
The brochure is to be handed out to Chinese tourists on tours in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi.
The PR Dept in its report made no mention of any discussion on the ongoing crackdown on “zero-dollar” (or “zero-baht”) tours.
Ms Zhang earlier this month voiced her support for the crackdown in announcing that the China National Tourism Administration will cooperate with the Thai Tourism and Sports Ministry and related agencies to improve tourism standards and quality for Chinese.
“We hope there will be more quality tour programmes at affordable prices for Chinese tourists thanks to the crackdown by Thai authorities,” she said. (See story here.)