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Tourist security

14 European Embassy representatives met with Somsak Phureerisak, Minister for Tourism & Sports, on July 1st to discuss boosting confidence in tourist safety in Thailand.

After the meeting the minister told reporters that the diplomats had pointed out several threats to tourist such as muggings or physical assaults by illegal taxi drivers, being overcharged for jet ski and motorbike rental and theft including snatch and run.

The meeting placed emphasis on practical preventative measures by assigning provincial transport offices to deal with extortion by rental companies and illegal taxi operators said Mr Somsak who also noted that the ministry would also seek to amend some laws to tighten legal loopholes and prevent business operators from talking advantage of tourists. He also plans to set up a tourist assistance centre to help visitors that have been affected by assaults, accidents, extortion, cheating and natural disasters.  However, he also added that he would also like to see measures put in place to educate tourists about local laws.

During the meeting, establishing a tourism Court was discussed. The Court would initially be opened in Bangkok and later extended to tourist provinces. The courts aim would be to speed up tourist related legal proceedings by operating at night and using methods such as video conferencing to interview witnesses.

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