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Tourism Minister Visits Phuket Today With Safety and Security His Priorities

Saturday, May 4, 2013
News Analysis

PHUKET: New Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak pays his first visit to Phuket today, with an opportunity to size up first-hand the jewel of Thai tourism.

It's good that his flight to Phuket is coming so soon after his April 9 appointment - his predecessor showed little interest in Phuket visits.

What's extremely heartening is that Khun Somsak has already said that safety and security for visitors is his top priority.

The new minister, a former provincial governor, is to meet with Phuket's leaders then brief the local media later today.

We look forward to hearing first-hand what he has to say because Phuketwan shares the minister's priorities of safety and security.

We would go a little further and suggest that another essential is needed to achieve peace of mind among those coming to Phuket in future: transparency.

Important life and death issues cannot and should not be covered up.

When it comes to the safety and security of Phuket tourists, the areas where people run the greatest risks are where they spend much of their time: on the roads, and in the water.

Deaths on Phuket are reported in much the same way they are reported everywhere these days, as accurately as possible. Visitors die on Phuket for the same reasons they die at home.

However, the roads on and around Phuket are less safe than they should be. They could and should be made safer.

The beaches and the seas, too, are less safe than they should be. For a destination that promotes itself as a year-round beach holiday island, more attention should be paid to warning tourists about possible dangers.

This time last year, Phuketwan was able to provide monthly updates on the figures for the road toll and for drownings on Phuket.

But the release of statistics has now ceased - except for the New Year Seven Days of Danger periods. At the time that statistical updates ceased to be released, deaths on the roads and in the water were trending down.

Phuket appeared to be winning the battle to make the island safer for visitors. One year later, we can no longer be so sure.

However, tourists who do their research online are now unable to determine the levels of safety and security on Phuket's roads and at Phuket's beaches.

The figures have simply become unavailable.

We'd recommend to the new minister that there is one effective way to encourage intelligent tourists to believe that their safety and security is a top priority: with complete transparency.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Complete transparency, interesting, but is it really possible in the Thai government, police, immigration etc etc?.. Lets hope so, most of us (Thais and Farang) don't have very high hopes. Maybe this time, maybe.......

Posted by Simon on May 4, 2013 12:47


Phuket police could start with fine everybody driving in the wrong side of the road not less than 1000bath. Sorry I forgot that police never stop drivers unless by roadblocks

Posted by Hans on May 5, 2013 13:46


I wonder if he is subjected to the barrage of taxi touts at arrivals? I tink not.
I always make the meter taxi stand my first stop for a prefered mode of transport but it seems they have been forced to match the other "official" taxi rates and sales techniques - the first words uttered by the driver as I approached were "how much you pay"?. What was a 500 Baht trip with tip is now 700 Baht.
I feel sad for the meter boys, but until this is sorted out I think I'll be going private from now on.
Very sad.
On a plus note, though, a security guy tapped on the taxi window just as we were leaving, he was returning my ATM card which I had stupidly left in the machine. How he managed to find me I don't know but a huge thanks, anyhow!
Certainly contrasting experiences to be had there.....

Posted by peter on May 5, 2013 15:55


Sorry, but these "lip service" articles always annoy me. Safety from those who should serve and protect the general public know what to do, but. . .

Posted by rawai peter on May 6, 2013 10:02

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