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Mandatory travel insurance for all foreign tourists in Thailand is one of a number of ideas being considered by tourism officials.
At the Thai Chic Travel Fair seminar held in Bangkok on Wednesday, officials said making it a mandatory requirement for all foreign visitors to Thailand to have travel insurance would help ease the burden on state coffers and boost safety for tourists.
The idea was backed by Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat but it wasn’t immediately clear how such a requirement would be implemented.
The seminar heard how Thailand has paid out 64 million baht in compensation to the families of the 47 victims and survivors of the Phoenix boat that sank off Phuket earlier this month, Thai News Agency reported.
But due to the amount of compensation paid out in recent weeks, Thailand’s tourist protection fund would run out of money if another incident where many people were injured or killed was to occur.
The seminar also heard how the tourism industry on the Andaman Coast has suffered severely due to cancellations from Chinese tourists following the Phoenix boat tragedy.
In a further bid to ease safety concerns, officials from the Thai-Chinese Tourism Alliance Association said they will start handing out GPS tracking bracelets to Chinese tourists so they can be easily located should they get lost or are involved in an accident while in Thailand.
Meanwhile, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said that 35 million tourists visited Thailand in 2017, an increase of 12 percent on the previous year but it admitted that tourism numbers in Phuket were down in July following cancellations from Chinese tourists.