Phuket to be pilot for tourist safety advice
PHUKET: Phuket is to be a pilot site for a new initiative by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to build confidence in Thailand’s tourism and fight cheating.
Friday 29 June 2012, 08:51AM
MOTS permanent secretary, Suwat Sidthilaw, deputy permanent secretary Thanitta Savetsila Maneechote, and Tourist Police commander Police Major-General Adis Ngamchitsuksri launched the project, the Bureau of Tourist Assistance and Fraud Prevention, late last week.
Mr Suwat said: “The campaign will provide tourists with important tips on how to avoid risks. Tourists are also encouraged to file complaints at the new bureau.”
Around 70 per cent of tourists in Thailand are travelling without the support of travel agencies and have no point of reference if they encounter a problem.
The “how to avoid risk” campaign is being implemented at Patong Beach and seven other pilot sites: Bangkok’s Khao San Rd; Ayutthaya’s floating market; Hua Hin; the ferry wharf on Koh Samui; Haad Yai’s Santisuk market; the walking street in Pai; and Chiang Mai’s walking street.
One part of the announcement by Gen Adis was puzzling. He said, “The Tourist Police will continue to step up safety for visitors in Thailand.
“A network of volunteers, who are taxi and tuk tuk drivers, have joined the police to disseminate safety information to travellers.”
Tourists and residents of the island alike view taxi and tuk-tuk drivers with a great deal of suspicion as they are often the cause of cheating and have been involved in many violent incidents, so it seems doubtful that they could be used as a confidence-building channel or to provide accurate information on safety to foreigners.