Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Yongyoot Wichaidit on Friday to discuss various measures to ensure the safety of foreign travelers.
The meeting was joined by provincial governors from 10 tourist provinces, including Surat Thani, Phuket, Songkhla, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chonburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Rayong and Trat, as well as representatives from the Tourist Police Division, the Tourism Ministry and the Department of Provincial Administration.
The discussion was initiated after numerous cases of scams and attacks on overseas visitors emerged and made headlines during the first half of this year, hurting the tourism industry significantly.
Mr. Surapong said that the meeting with all related agencies was needed to ensure the safety of tourists, which was also raised during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s recent overseas trips to various countries.
Various ideas were brought up at the meeting, including the installation of more CCTVs, the setting up of a central service center with a hotline service, and the police bicycle patrol units in tourist hot spots.
The Foreign Minister said that there will also be a meeting with executives of leading private hospitals in Thailand, after there have been complaints from Middle Eastern patients about overly-charged treatment fees.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yongyoot stated that the government will ask locals to play a role in providing safety and convenience for foreign visitors, as the tourism industry is a key money-making business for Thailand. He added that the government will hold more meetings with related provincial governors on the issue later.