The meeting took place at 10am on Thursday (June 7) at Phuket City Hall with Vice Governor Thawornwat Kongkaew, Deputy Commander of the Phuket Provincial Police Lt Col Sakchai Limcharoen, Chief of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Phuket office (DDPM-Phuket) Prapan Kanprasang, Dutch Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Kees Pieter Rade and Dutch Honorary Consul for Phuket Seven Smulders in attendance.
The meeting was a chance for all in attendance to discuss provincial policy strategies in the tourism sector and also the safety of Dutch tourists in Phuket.
High on the agenda was Phuket’s road safety record and V/Gov Thawornwat said that one of the Ambassador’s main concerns was tourists who might be involved in accidents and cannot cover the cost of insurance due to them having an invalid licence.
“Police are now very strict on the law when it comes to tourists having invalid licenses. However, they are also very strict on the vehicle rental companies.
“The rental providers will be prosecuted if they rent vehicles to those who don’t carry the correct licence. This is an attempt to reduce road accidents,” he explained.
“Moreover, the Phuket Provincial Transport Office can also accommodate tourists by providing them with a temporary driving licence,’ V/Gov Thawornwat said.
Another issue discussed was marine safety, and V/Gov Thawornwat explained, “Data-storing wristbands will be provided to tourists at Ao Po Marina which will store information on all tourists boarding boats from that location. This will be rolled out to other piers and marinas in the future.”
V/Gov Thawornwat also went on to say that officials are trying hard to tackle the island’s environmental issues.
“Phuket has a laboratory to test polluted water and we are attempting to resolve issues that concern waste management. Phuket now has a project to stop using plastic bags and foam containers where people can report issues via an phone application,” V/Gov Thawornwat said.
“Please be assured that we take care of all tourists’ safety. We have 1,500 CCTV cameras installed across the island which help us solve problems including crime and accidents,” he added.
V/Gov Thawornwat rounded off the meeting by presenting Amb Rade and Mr Smulders with a souvenir of their visit.