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A meeting between tourism operators and local residents of Koh Tao recently took place where a resolve was made to charge and entrance fee for tourists wishing to visit the island. The idea behind a fee would be to use the funds collected to boost security on the island. It was decided at the meeting that the Koh Tao Municipality that a public hearing would be held to decide the cost of the fee.
The move comes after weeks of speculation on how to improve tourist safety after the brutal murders of two backpackers, a crime that has gained heavy international press interest. So far police have been unable to solve the crime on the tiny island that has gained widespread interest from around the globe, although many of the stories published in the press have been confusing and contradictory. Reports have suggested that tourists on the island should be tagged or given a wrist band in order to increase their security, an idea that has been widely scoffed globally for being totally impractical.
The global press interest in the murder case has prompted The Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of the Interior as well as the Prime minster to address the issues of tourist security, especially on islands such as Koh Tao who rely so heavily on the income they provide.
There is no doubt the recent crime will have an effect on the numbers visiting Koh Tao and the international press coverage with dubious facts regarding the investigation of the case will surely do nothing to increase tourist confidence either.