New association to pay tourists in high-profile accidents up to 100,000 baht

Friday, 21 March 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 12 By  Warunya Thongrod

Tourists injured or killed in Pattaya could receive up to 100,000 baht under rules set by a new tourist-assistance association.

District Chief Sakchai Taengho chaired the first meeting of the awkwardly named Help Tourists Victimized by Crimes in Pattaya City and Banglamung District Association March 7.

Started as a legally designated “club” in 2012, the group gained association status Aug. 29 and aims to compensate victims or their families after crimes or accidents that damage the image of Pattaya.

District Chief Sakchai Taengho chairs the first meeting of the Help Tourists Victimized by Crimes in Pattaya City and Banglamung District Association.District Chief Sakchai Taengho chairs the first meeting of the Help Tourists Victimized by Crimes in Pattaya City and Banglamung District Association.

As a club, the group paid out 40,000 baht to two Russian women robbed and raped on Christmas, 60,000 baht to three South Koreans who lost limbs a speedboat accident, 20,000 baht to an Indian sliced by a boat propeller, and 20,000 baht to a Russian injured in an accident off Koh Larn.

With a budget of just over 1 million baht, the association will now pay out 100,000 baht to the family of anyone killed in a headline-grabbing incident, 50,000 baht to someone disabled or 20,000 baht to anyone injured.

To qualify for compensation, a victim must be on a temporary visa and hurt in a crime or accident in a public area that affects the tourism image of Pattaya.

The association’s first grant, however, did not follow those rules. The group gave 20,000 baht to the family of Lance Cpl. Sarawut Chaipanha, a Banglamung Police officer killed in the failed Feb. 18 police operation against anti-government demonstrators at Bangkok’s Phan Fah Bridge.

The association’s board is comprised of Sakchai, Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, Mike Shopping Mall head Surat Mekavarakul, Pattaya Business & Tourism Association President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn and Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region President Bundarik Kusolvitya.

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