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Consul-General Qin Jian with Governor Maitree on Phuket yesterday

Phuket Tour Operator Must Compensate Widow for Propeller Death, Says Chinese Envoy

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
PHUKET: The widow of a man killed by a speedboat propeller on a day-trip near Phi Phi should be ''taken care of'' by the tour operator, China's Consul-General, Qin Jian, said yesterday.

''Everything happened in front of her,'' the consul-general said, calling for substantial compensation. ''She witnessed it all. This is extremely sad.''

Chen Peng, 36, died after being struck by a speedboat propeller in the water at scenic Pileh Bay, near Phi Phi on June 19. The previous day, Ran Li, 23, drowned on a day-trip outing to Racha island from Phuket.

Consul-general Qin Jian was speaking after saying goodbye to Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City yesterday.

Having visited Phuket seven times as consul-general based in Sonkhla, Qin Jian is moving on: ''Safety remains our Number One concern for tourists visiting Phuket, especially the number of drownings.

''Many Chinese visitors coming to Phuket do not know how to use snorkels and also do not speak the Thai language.''

He listed two other problems: thefts from places such as luggage racks in buses and the illegal ''taxes'' sometimes demanded by officers at the Immigration counters at Phuket International Airport.

''Taxi and tuk-tuk fares on Phuket remain extremely high for Chinese tourists on Phuket,'' he said. ''But there will be more coming in future. Between 3.5 million and four million Chinese are expected to visit Thailand this year.''

He urged media outlets to warn tourists about the dangers on Phuket, especially those in the water.

A plan to cope with the large number of Chinese tourists visiting Phuket by establishing a consul on the island is still underway, he said.

A group of ambassadors and senior embassy representatives are scheduled to meet Thailand's Tourism and Sport Minister in Bangkok on Friday to discuss safety issues on Phuket. Four people drowned at Phuket beaches between Thursday and Sunday.

Comments

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What I really do not understand, independent of the country of their origin, tourists in Phuket try dangerous things like riding motorbike for the first time in their life (without proper license), snorkeling without knowing about it, swimming in the sea when red flags are up, even though their swimming experience results from the bathtub at home, and more. Where is common sense? And if something goes wrong, they blame it on Phuket...

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on June 25, 2013 09:55

Editor Comment:

Tourists everywhere tend to trust that the people they pay to look after them will look after them.

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The Chinese Envoy "urged media outlets to warn tourists about the dangers on Phuket, especially those in the water." Phuketwan does but if Chinese tourists can't speak Thai, they probably can't speak or read English either so their education about the risks and dangers of any foreign destination should start at home. Tourists planning a visit to a foreign destination unknown to them have a personal responsibility for their own safety not just reliance on the country they are visiting.

Posted by Baralan on June 25, 2013 13:29

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I find it very unusual for a Consul to ask the media to spread the warnings.

It appears to me as if he is quite frustrated with the inaction of local authorities to make such a statement.

Diplomacy is all about reading between the lines and when the comments become so blunt, those responsible should realize they have crossed the line in their inaction.

I'm happy to see Consul Jian is in full support of the tough stance taken by Ambassador Mu. I only wish they would put politics aside and team up with EU, US and Australian envoys on this matter.

The sea doesn't care about nationality.

Posted by ThaiMike on June 25, 2013 14:35

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The chinese not speak Thai ? How many tourists speak the local language in whatever country they make holiday ? The chinese as a super country should learn the basic english to there citizens like most of the countries, English is a business and tourism language.They should at least understand the basic things. As I ask to many chinese guests what type of egg they want in the morning fex omelette,fried egg or scrambled egg even that they not understand, we end up to show them an egg to be able to communicate, sorry but for the most power full nation in the world they should learn more english. This would avoid problems. By the way we can not close Phuket because a few people not follow the guidelines from there guide or hotel or whatever organization. A little common sence says that when you see the high on some days that you should not make big action in the sea.

Posted by Eric on June 25, 2013 19:44

Editor Comment:

So you do not count drownings, Eric, and you don't think the inability to speak English or Thai counts for much. Forget the scrambled eggs for a moment. What do you tell your guests about the dangers at the beaches?


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Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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