The fatal knifing of Mrs Smith, an Australian travel agent, has brought to a head mounting concerns about entrenched corruption, lack of appropriate action and flawed law enforcement on Phuket.
Mrs Smith was visiting Phuket with other travel agents from Perth on a familiarisation trip to encourage more tourism when she was killed by two men who attempted to snatch her bag outside the Katathani Beach Resort on Wednesday night.
Her death today brought Thailand's Deputy Police Chief Lieutenant General Pansiri Prapawat to Phuket to head the investigation. He told about 100 top officers from Phuket and nearby provinces:
''I have met with Prime Minister Yingluck and Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung. The Prime Minister said her policy was to care properly for Thailand's tourists because of the importance of the industry.''
The PM said police had to ensure no violence or mischief was committed, listing health issues, rip-offs and crime.
''Illegal taxis, jet-ski rip-offs, motorcycle renters with no insurance, mini-vans driving too fast, lax diving industry standards, tu-tuk drivers beating up tourists . . . all these regular complaints are to be dealt with now.''
This year so far, he said, there were 320 complaints about thefts on Thailand's buses, especially between Bangkok and Surat Thani in southern Thailand.
He said he spoke in detail for 40 minutes today with Australian honorary consul Larry Cunningham, who listed the problems and urged action directly from Bangkok immediately.
Phuket's honorary consuls have been complaining about Phuket's problems in regular three-monthly meetings for two years. Embassies and ambassadors in Bangkok, have taken up the call for Phuket to be reformed - and Michelle Smith's murder appears to have been the spur for action by the national government.
It will probably force a change in approach by one official who, when a tourist was struck by a speedboat propeller recently, dismissed the incident as ''natural'' and did nothing about it.
Michelle Smith's killers meanwhile are being pursued with unprecedented vigor. The 300,000 baht rewards consists of 100,000 each from the Katathani, Region 8 Police and the Phuket Police Commander.
Tourists from Australia delivered more money to Thailand than any other group, the lieutenant general said - 55120.84 million baht last year.
''We intend to make Phuket and Thailand places where tourists can be sure they will not be ripped off or feel threatened,'' the lieutenant general said.