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Thai officials to investigate more than 50% rise in tourist deaths in Thailand

Concerns for tourist deaths have been raised after Thai officials noticed a 54% rise in the number of tourist deaths in Thailand. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is working to understand the rise and address tourist safety issues.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post 83 foreign tourists died in Thailand last year, a 54% leap from the year before, 166 were also injured showing a 160% leap from the previous year.

Of the 83 who lost their lives, 34 were caused by road accidents, 9 were from swimming and boat accidents, 6 from congenital disease, 4 were recorded as suicide and 30 from ‘other causes’.

A report from the Bureau of Prevention and Assistance in Tourist Fraud is reported to have suggested that danger areas for swimming accidents include Tawan Beach in Pattaya, Chaweng Beach in Samui, Mu Koh Samilan and Hoe Hae Phuket. Dangers on the roads have been highlighted as the 1095 from Chaing Mai to Pai, the 118 from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, Highways 2258 and 2296 to Khao Khor Petchabun and Highway 4233 to Karon Mountain Phuket.

In terms of safety and security Thailand now ranks in 132nd place out of 141 and is the lowest in Asean with a score of 3.75.

Last Friday when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed his concern after Russian tourists were seriously injured in a speedboat accident near Koh Phi Phi. Gen Prayut’s remarks prompted authorities overseeing tourist safety to seek out a solution.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry held a meeting on Tuesday to address the issue with the Commerce Ministry, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Public Health Ministry, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Airports of Thailand and the Tourist Police Division.

Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary at the Sports and Tourism Ministry, accepted that Thailand needs to upgrade its safety and security standards for tourists as soon as possible.

“In the past, we did not deal with the root causes of the tourist safety problem. From now on, we will look at the issue and address it seriously,” he said. He hoped to see the country’s ranking in safety and security move up to the middle tier of Asean countries.

The study on water accidents will be done in Krabi while data on road accidents will be gathered in Chiang Mai. Governors of the two provinces will chair the research committee with the reports expected to be completed within three months.

Source – Chaing Rai Times & Bangkok Post




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