ANOTHER CHINESE TOURIST DROWNS IN THAILAND DUE TO NON EXISTENT SAFETY RULES – Yet another avoidable drowning has occurred off the holiday Island off Phuket, Thailand. 23 year old Ran Li drowned while snorkeling on a day trip to Racha Island some 40 minutes from Phuket.
Full Story: Phuketwan
Last month the Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Guan Mu, visited officials on Phuket and gave them a not so diplomatic account of the failings that Thailand has over official and police corruption, lack of safety and insisted that Thailand needs to ‘clean up its act’ if it wants to continue seeing Chinese tourists visiting Thailand.
The stark warning came just one day after yet another Chinese tourist had drowned. How many have died in the last year alone? This is actually difficult to ascertain as Thai officials stopped recording and reporting tourists deaths; some say to deliberately hide the continuous incompetence of the officials.
Whilst the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) continuously engage in press releases that paint a rosy picture on tourism in Thailand; especially to the increasing number of international visitors, it is obvious to anyone on the ground that tourism is in heavy decline.
European visitors have now almost abandoned Thailand due to the continuous scams by unscrupulous Thai tour operators, Jet Ski scams, motorbike scams, extortion, muggings, rape and even murder.
When it comes to the scams the police and other high ranking officials are often involved and none so evident when it comes to the Jet Ski or Tuk Tuk scams.
This week 17 Ambassadors from around the world are due to visit officials on Phuket and the rumour is that they will all take a hard-line approach as did the Chinese Ambassador late last month.
No public statement has yet to come out of the Chinese Embassy but from the last meeting it is likely that the Chinese Ambassador will be furious. As China now makes up a vast proportion of tourism; due to the fact the Thais and their greed have almost wiped out Western based tourism, the fear is that if China stops their citizens from visiting this would kill off the little tourism Thailand currently has.
The main issue here has always been ‘tourist safety’ and yet the Thais continue to flout the little safety regulations it does have and does so simply fuel their greed.
Often tourists are packed like sardines on speed boats; most only capable of carrying 30 and yet it is nothing uncommon to see twice or three times that number being squeezed on-board in order to maximise the income.
There have been countless accidents with speedboats, some crashing into other boats some falling apart during heavy seas and yet tourists who survived the experience often tell how the boat captains and staff were clueless as to safety procedures and rarely were their enough life-jackets to go around.
Phuket now has the unenviable reputation of being a holiday destination where you are increasingly likely to fall foul to the incessant greed and Thai officials this week are likely to face a barrage of criticism during the meeting with the Ambassadors.
In some quarters the view appears to be that this could be the catalyst for change; in so much as the Thai officials finally taking action. However most feel little or any improvements will be forthcoming as the Thai officials will once again provide empty promises and then go back to counting the money.
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