Tuesday, 19th February 2013
BRITISH COUPLE DIE IN THAILAND CYCLING TOUR – A young British couple who were cycling around the world met their end during their travels through Thailand after being hit by a speeding pickup truck.
Peter Root and Mary Thompson, both artists aged 34 from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, set off on a global adventure in July 2011 and had cycled through Europe, the Middle East and China.
Anyone who is familiar with Thailand, and its tourist safety record, will not be overly surprised by this outcome; any more than they will be to learn that the driver has been released on bail pending a court case to try him for dangerous driving.
While Thai law indicates that the driver could spend up to 10 years in jail it is most likely he will end up with a small fine, as did the bus driver that crossed a six lane highway that resulted in the death of 6 tourist, of which a fine was given of just 138 Thai Baht, or under US$5.00.
Life in Thailand is cheap and just because a foreign tourist has dies is irrelevant, providing it doesn’t have an effect on the income that tourism generates. Within just an hour of Peter and Mary’s death being reported the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reported the usual hype of how many millions of people were flocking to Thailand to experience the culture and delights.
Unfortunately, but never to be expected from the Thai authorities, is any press release to report their condolences nor with concerns or actions over the number of tourists that die each year. The Thai authorities are still in denial that the press coverage for everything and anything that goes on in Thailand is simply fabrication and that the internet is not capable of spreading bad or good news.
It was only a month ago that the new Governor of Phuket was show a video, regarding the Krabi Rape Case that was uploaded on YouTube. The Government was in complete shock when he found out that this type of thing was not only possible but that the video had been viewed over 500,000 times.
The press in Thailand is heavily monitored, although that’s not how the Government portrays it. The authorities, on finding out of any video or information on the web that is damaging to Thailand Tourist industry, and more importantly the money it generates, are quick to inform people that they are taking measure to have it removed, although this is rarely the case as they do not have the power or authority to do so, but only to block such information in their own country.
I often wonder what it will take before tourism dries up completely. There is not a day that goes by that you don’t hear of several instances involving serious injury or death of a foreign tourist and as Meebal.com has reported many times, Thailand is an extremely dangerous tourist destination.