Downplaying the continued extortion scams perpetrated by Pattaya jet ski operators, city officials instead called them in to meet about improving safety.
Pattaya City Manager Wuthipol Charoenpol chaired a Dec. 9 meeting with jet ski vendors aimed at improving tourist security following a handful of recent accidents.
Acknowledging complaints continue to be filed about vendors faking damage to their watercraft to extort tourists out of tens of thousands of baht, municipal police chief Pol. Maj. Jirawat Sukontasap said safety recently was a more important issue.
He defended the decision to allow the scamming vendors to continue to operate, saying jet skis remain a popular diversion for tourists and permanent bans or too many restrictions could affect tourism.
In line with that thinking, the much-heralded Jet Ski Dispute Resolution Center set up opened a year ago on Pattaya Beach has since been giving more benign branding: the Tourist Services & Assistance Center.
It is now backed by the Marine Department meant to handle all issues related to water sports and activities.
At the meeting, Jirawat said the meeting was called to tighten security measures and ensure all jet skis are registered. Registration helps ensure that jet skis are insured so repairs can be made without hassling customers.