Following the news report in the Daily Mail recently about a 24-year-old German backpacker who disclosed that she experienced a sexual assault by a local tour guide on Koh Chang in Trat province of Thailand, the Thai authorities took immediate action in response to protect its tourism image and prestigious standards.
First, Pol. Col. Sarawut Tunkul, Deputy Commander of the Tourist Police, revealed that the court has given its final judgment to the defendant. He emphasized that the Tourist Police will collaborate closely with local law enforcement, administrative organizations, and relevant agencies to develop and implement measures to prevent such incidents from occurring again.
In addition, Mr. Wasanapon Atthaphonthanaset, President of the Professional Tour Guide Association of Thailand, unveiled that the incident on Koh Chang was carried out by a “local tour leader” rather than by a tour guide. He also addressed the fact that, from now on, relevant agencies must solve the problem of local tour operators by registering and providing knowledge in the same profession as professional tour guides or tour guides in order to be a service standard.
After the incident, all authorities involved were not complacent. This highlights the necessity for enhanced collaboration among all units, including local police, government organizations, and communities. While the primary goal of local guides is to promote tourism in the community, it is crucial to implement control and supervision measures, such as maintaining records and providing training. Detailed documentation of the tour route and other relevant information is essential, aligning with the standards expected of professional tour guides. This will serve as a benchmark for inspection in the event of an incident. The authorities will increase the frequency of inspections, particularly in the areas where tourist attractions are still in the process of developing standards to ensure the safety of visitors. (NNT)