The news came as Phuket Vice Governor Vikrom Jakthee at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (June 27) called for government agencies and tour operators to coordinate to ensure the Sandbox tourists observe the island quarantine.
Present to receive the instructions was Phuket Marine Chief Nachapong Pranat along with tour operators and those trusted with operating the main tourist ports and piers in Phuket.
V/Gov Vikrom explained that under the latest provincial order, arrivals can travel to islands or the nearby provinces by boat only at three main piers ‒ Ao Por Pier, Rassada Pier, Chalong Pier ‒ and five other marinas and ports.
“To prevent tourists from leaving the island before the 14-day stay is completed, officers from the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, the Marine Department and the Marine Police will use their boats to patrol the waters around Phuket,” V/Gov Vikrom said.
“We will also install GPS on every tour boat, so that we can track and know the location of each boat,” he said.
The meeting yesterday followed Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES) Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn along with Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow and Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn inspecting the readiness of the ‘Smart Pier’ at Visit Panwa Pier on Saturday (June 26).
The ‘Smart Pier’ project at the pier has been conducted in conjunction with the National Telecom Public Company Limited ‒ the recently formed amalgamation of state telecom providers TOT and CAT ‒ to create a tourism safety support and management system, the ministerial delegation was told on Saturday.
So-called ‘Smart Piers’ developed under the project will have five features in common: tourist registration system, the usage of wristbands or smart watches, CCTV cameras, location sharing systems with an SOS alert, and each will have a control and command center.
Mr Chaiwut explained that under the Smart Pier system the tourist registration system for traveling by sea consists of purchasing tickets or tours through agents. The tourists are registered for travel with their ID card or passport, a photo of which is taken for reference. The tourists bring their booking voucher to the jetty to attach to their personal wristband to use at the gate for boarding. All data is to be stored in the NT cloud.
The system uses a wristband (RFID) or smart watch instead of a pass card to enter and exit the port and board the boat and can be used as e-wallets in the future once tourists are registered. The wristbands or smart watches handed out can be used to monitor tourists’ body temperatures, to register when they enter or leave port and to check the travel registration of all tourists.
The CCTV system installed at any Smart Pier is to record information of the tourists traveling through the port for reference and analysis, while the boat-tracking system is to help track tourists traveling by sea and includes a signaling device for tourists asking for help in emergency situations, Mr Chaiwut added.
The ‘Control and Command Center’ at each pier will be able to track the location of vessels and provide or receive any alerts of events so that assistance or other appropriate response can be provided in a timely manner. The display system at the Operation Center, called the “Network Operation Center NT”, will serve to coordinate various agencies to complete their checks on day cruise vessels.
The command centres will also coordinate with local help centers with officials from the relevant departments along with on-site interpreters for different languages to assist with any public relations activities and to assist in any emergency situations, Mr Chaiwut concluded.
Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub