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Chinese appeal for tourists’ safety in Phuket met with promises

PHUKET: A high-powered appeal by the Chinese government asking the Thai authorities to take more action to prevent deaths and injuries to Chinese tourists in Phuket and the surrounding region has been met with a slew justifications and promises.

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By The Phuket News

Tuesday 14 March 2017, 10:18AM


The Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China, Songkhla held a meeting in Phuket last Thursday (Mar 9) in a wide-ranging appeal to police and all forms of tourism authorities in Phuket, as well as representatives from tour agencies.

The key official at the meeting was the Director of the China National Tourism Administration Bangkok office, Zhang Xinhong, who was joined by Chinese Consul General in Songkhla Zhou Haicheng, the lead Chinese government representative for all Southern Thailand.

Representing the Royal Thai Police were no less than three police generals: Region 8 Police Commander Maj Gen Chayohdom Jindawirote, who is the lead ranking police officer for upper Southern Thailand; Phuket Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen; and Krabi Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Worawit Phanprung.

Also present were officers from Tourist Police Region 5, the Tourism and Sports Ministry Phuket office, the Phuket Land Transportation Department (PLTO) and other government departments totalling 15 agencies in all, along with tour agency representatives.

Consul General Zhou thanked police in Phuket and Krabi for their efforts so far and expressed his appreciation that the two provincial governments had made great efforts to promote Thailand-China cooperation, and safeguard the safety of Chinese tourists.

However, he also stressed that with the number of Chinese tourists in southern Thailand rising sharply, water and traffic safety issues had become increasingly prominent.

“We hope that Thai authorities will strengthen their water safety management, such as snorkelling, and improve the construction of tourism safety facilities to ensure life and property security of Chinese tourists,” Consul Zhou said.

To this, Phuket Police Chief Gen Teeraphol and his Krabi counterpart Gen Worawit spoke generally about safety issues and promised to ramp inspection and supervision of travel agencies, boat transport companies and other tourism enterprises and personnel.

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They also vowed to crack down drunk driving, driving without license and other illegal activities, and “to make efforts to reduce the number of Chinese tourists drowning and traffic accident casualties.”

Region 8 Police Commander Gen Chayohdom simply said, “The Thai government welcomes Chinese tourists to travel in Southern Thailand, and pays high attention to the life and property safety of Chinese tourists.”

He added that Deputy Prime Minister Gen Thanasak Patimapragorn and Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul during their visit in Phuket on Mar 2 ordered Thai officials to take action on a broad range of issues to improve tourism in the region.

The Chinese delegation did not elaborate on the high number of Chinese tourists killed or injured while on holiday in Phuket, through drownings in hotel pools or while snorkelling at reefs or near beachfront resorts, or injured in “brake failure” bus crashes on Patong Hill, but did politely accept the speeches delivered by Thai officials.

“Meeting participants also exchanged views and reached important consensus on speeding up the construction of tourism infrastructure, having more signs in Chinese at the airport, piers and tourism landmarks, and strengthening the safety and rescue of beaches and other places in Phuket and Samui,” noted a report posted on the Songkla Consulte-General official website.

“The relevant departments of the two sides have unanimously expressed that it is of great significance to promote the friendly exchanges between China and Thailand, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation by working on the safety of Chinese Tourists.

“The relevant parties will continue to liaise closely and strengthen cooperation to create a better and safe tourism condition for tourists,” the report added.

 

 

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Nasa12 | 17 March 2017 - 06:54:10

Billy Stone and Kurt@ Remember it`s only 7 % of the Chinese people have a Passport and more people get passport every day. So this it`s nothing what coming to Thailand wait and look.Soon every sign in Phuket are in Chines :)

Kurt | 15 March 2017 - 17:47:38

@ Billy Stone.  You are right, we all sometimes have to deal something while driving to avoid a accident with tourists motorbike drivers ( not only the chinese)

Here is a Governor/Officials responsibility to tackle this problem to increase the safety of us, local thai and expat residents.
The Phuket Government should set rules about renting out motorbikes to foreigners, people who probably nev...

Billy Stone | 15 March 2017 - 14:21:37

I have to say many Chinese tourists here should take some responsibility for their own safety. Many just walk out into the road to cross without even looking first. If they are like that crossing the road I would hate to think what they are like on a snorkelling trip.

Kurt | 15 March 2017 - 14:10:07

@ Nasa12, thank you for your good suggestion.
Indeed my country has a embassy in Bangkok, and a consulate on Phuket island.
I do meet 'my' Consul and several Consuls of other countries once in a while.
Quite a number of years now foreign Consulates would like to have regular meetings with Phuket Governors, but for some reason the Governors don't, looks like as they like to avoid con...

Frank Scriven | 15 March 2017 - 12:59:35

Dear Editor, I think the place to start with improving the road safety for Chinese tourist would be 1. Checking for licence! and also one that allows them to ride or drive in Thailand 2. Making it perfectly clear they drive on the left hand side of the road! 
Think this could reduce about 80% of road traffic accidents for Chinese tourist.

Nasa12 | 15 March 2017 - 12:28:55

@ Kurt : Yes Kurt the Governor have cancel proposed meetings with all the foreign Consulate based in Phuket, I hope your Country have 1 Consulate or Consule in Phuket, so call them and ask. This  meetings they should have each 2 or 3 month  year a round and take up different issues in Phuket with  Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan.

skip | 15 March 2017 - 04:29:44

another nail in the coffin of chinese tourism, a baseless empty meeting solely for the media to pretend they care. They dont realise that when chinese tourism stops, phuket"s economy stops. how many chinese deaths and near misses do the thai authorities think their REPUTATION as a holiday destination can sustain ? OBVIOUSLY MORE... NO REPUTATION = NO TOURISTS = NO MONEY = NO HONEY. Start jail...

eric dekegel | 14 March 2017 - 20:54:47

Should maybe start to appeal chinese tourists to listen to what crews and tour guides ask them, in life you have also duties and sure if you are on holiday,many accidents is there own fault, I work somethimes with them, the one travelling alone is mostly no problem but the charter one following the flag has no education and has to know the lines otherwise they take over the control dont forget the...

Kurt | 14 March 2017 - 15:13:52

@ Nasa12:  Really , does this Governor cancel proposed meetings with all the foreign Consuls based on Phuket?

Mhh, I missed that fact. What can be the reason?
Interaction of Governor with foreign representatives can work out only positive for Phuket Island.

May be the Phuket Governor has a busy official overseas travel schedule himself?
One can not be at 2 places at the same time. Right?

Nasa12 | 14 March 2017 - 12:00:20

So then whay Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan of Phuket canceled all meetings with the 20 ++ Consulates in Phuket, month after month soon +++ Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan?. Are you afraid of something ?

BenPendejo | 14 March 2017 - 11:47:43

I'm sure the attending Thai officials breathed a sigh of relief after having to listen to the Chinese ramble on about safety concerns throughout the meeting.  It must have been very boring to them to have to sit there and try and act concerned and lose a little face by acknowledging their pathetic safety record, and by making more false promises that they will do better in the future.  We all ...

Kurt | 14 March 2017 - 10:59:34

It was a pleasant diplomatic meeting, with a lot of nice diplomatic words from both sides.

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