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‘Buddy system’ and identifying wristbands among safety measures being considered by Thailand’s Tourism Minister

Thailand's tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has announced that she is considering implementing a number of safety measures on Thailand’s islands in the wake of the murders of two British backpackers earlier this month.

Ms Kobkarn revealed that she has approached hotels with the idea of a wristband for tourists to help identify them in the event that they get lost or get into trouble.

"When tourists check in to a hotel they will be given a wristband with a serial number that matches their ID and shows the contact details of the resort they are staying in, so that if they're out partying late and, for example, get drunk or lost, they can be easily assisted," Ms Kobkarn said.

"The next step would be some sort of electronic tracking device but this has not yet been discussed in detail."

She also revealed that Thailand’s tourism authorities are considering a "buddy system” to be implemented in destinations in the country frequented by tourists. This would see tourists being paired with a local minder.

Restrictions on where beach parties can take place as well as on party hours on some of Thailand's islands are also being discussed, Ms Kobkarn added.

Official tourism figures to the island show that overall the number of international visitors to Thailand has dipped by 10.66% year-on-year comparing figures for the period January to August.

At the start of the year Thailand’s tourism prospects looked more promising with Thailand pushing past its original visitor target of 26.1 million for 2013, to clock up a total of 26,735,583 visitors.

Speaking at the time, Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand TAT said: “This achievement brings much joy to Thailand and the country’s travel and tourism industry as a whole. These statistics are invaluable as evidence that despite the challenging factors including the ongoing political demonstrations in Bangkok, Thailand remains a popular and welcoming tourist destination.”

If you are a frequent traveller, why not consider taking out multi-trip travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 30 September 2014

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