He has also ordered pier safety management be increased as the island prepares to welcome in the new high season.
Gov Norraphat’s comments came during his ‘Governor Meet Press’ meeting held yesterday (Nov 9) at Phuket Provincial Hall.
Speaking at yesterday’s meeting, Gov Norraphat said, “Phuket City Municipality has joined with other agencies to create a plan to enhance the safety of tourists doing marine-based activities.
“They have decided that micro-chipped wristbands will be given to all people boarding boats at local piers before they travel to nearby islands because for Phuket City Municipality the safety of tourists is a priority,” said Gov Norraphat.
“Visitor’s information such as their names, address, telephone number, accommodation and other details will be embedded into the chip before being given to the passenger to wear.
“The chip will also have a GPS system to determine the location of the tourists. However, this is purely for tracking passengers in case of an accident or if a tourist gets lost at sea,” he said.
“Tourists need to get to the piers early to register their details for the wristband before it is given to them to wear. It is for the safety of tourists themselves.
“It is expected that the wristbands will come at a cost of no more then B20 baht and we are discussing whether to let tourists keep them as a souvenir from Phuket, or if they will be recycled for further use,” said Gov Norraphat
However, it was not said whether the cost of the wristband will be covered by the tourists themselves or whether they would be provided for free.
Gov Norraphat did also not elaborate on whether the wristbands would be given to passengers treavelling from other islands to Phuket.
Meanwhile, Gov Norraphat also pointed out that pier safety management around the island be increased ready for the coming high season.
There are four major piers in Phuket; Rassada, Chalong, Ao Po and Royal Phuket Marina and also many private ones that the provincial authority are trying to manage.
Gov Norraphat said,“The facilities of the boats, ferries, and other marine transportation including life jackets, fire extinguishers and the ability of the drivers all have to be to the standard of the Marine Department.
“The communication between the boats out at sea and the piers and the GPS systems used to locate the boats need to be in use so that they can be tracked in case of an emergency. Also, there needs to be officers on duty on the weekends as well,” he said.
“The piers that fall under the jurisdiction of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor) are Rassada Pier and Chalong Pier, and we are improving the safety and the service at these piers for tourists. We are also going to set up more CCTV cameras with software to scan the faces of tourist, officers and boat crew members,” he added.
Additional reporting by Panida Bunditboworn.