BANGKOK – All government agencies are joining forces in stepping up safety measures for tourists in all parts of the country, especially during festive seasons when Thailand welcomes a great number of international visitors.
Apart from protecting tourists from assault, robbery, and other criminal acts, the measures also include services to facilitate their entry into Thailand.
According to the Royal Thai Police, safety zones have been designated in 56 provinces, with 353 police stations, to protect tourists from accidents and criminal acts and from being cheated. Responsible police officials in these zones have also been assigned to help ease problems concerning the deterioration of tourist sites.
The tourist police are increasing their personnel to cope with more work as a result of the growing tourist arrivals. More closed-circuit television cameras will be installed in various tourist destinations, and more volunteers will be recruited to help in ensuring safety for tourists.
The Government is striving to achieve Thailand’s tourism revenue target of two trillion baht by 2015. It emphasizes tourism promotion, while stepping up efforts to prevent negative impacts on the country’s tourism industry, as well. In this regard, all Thais, especially those living in popular tourist destinations, have been urged to give a warm welcome to foreign tourists and see to their safety.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology stated that free Wi-Fi routers have been installed at major tourist spots across the country to offer high-speed internet service for tourists. This project is in response to the Government’s tourism promotion policy.
Meanwhile, the Association of Thai Travel Agents estimates that during the Chinese New Year celebrations, between 9 and 14 February 2013, around 100,000 tourists from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Viet Nam will visit Thailand. In preparation for welcoming visitors during this period, the Bureau of Prevention and Assistance in Tourist Fraud, under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, has doubled the number of Chinese-speaking officers on duty at international and regional airports throughout Thailand.
The Office of Immigration has assigned additional immigration officers to international and regional airports to reduce the waiting time at immigration checkpoints for foreign tourists. The Office has also streamlined immigration formalities by shortening the time required to obtain a visa upon arrival and providing one-stop service at the checkpoints.
The Airports Authority of Thailand has assigned additional officers to facilitate the arrival of foreign tourists and arranged more parking lots for tour buses at major international and regional airports. – PRD
Useful information can be obtained at the following telephone numbers:
– Tourism Authority of Thailand Call Center, #1672
– Thai Tourist Police Call Center, #1155
– Bureau of Prevention and Assistance in Tourist Fraud at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (Operating hours: 08.30-16.30 hr), tel.: +662-356-0650, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Bureau of Prevention and Assistance in Tourist Fraud, at Suvarnabhumi Airport (operating hours: 24 hours daily), tel.: +662-134-4077.