PHUKET, 07 August 2018 – The government of Thailand is taking stringent measures to improve tour boat safety in Phuket following the recent boating accident that saw 47 tourists lose their lives when a tour boat capsized in rough seas and sank off the island.
According to Phuket’s governor, Norraphat Plodthong, the accident has resulted in the coming together of all branches of the country’s government to improve safety and security measures across the board for the island’s tour boat sector. This includes the Phuket branch of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) working in close association with the country’s military.
Following a recent meeting of relevant stakeholders and government departments, Plodthong confirmed that guidelines are being drafted by the ISOC in an attempt to organise and regulate tourism businesses on Phuket and ensure the safety and viability of this sector across the whole of Thailand.
Tour businesses, boat operators and representatives of all 24 major boat piers in Phuket are part of this process and the aim is to create standards for any business involved in tourism to control, correct and, where necessary, rehabilitate tour boat operations in Phuket and ensure the safety and security of all tourists visiting the island.
Phuket’s major boat piers have undergone a safety audit and have CCTV surveillance is to be installed at each of them, together with signs clearly outlining the marine safety guidelines for visiting tourists.
All tour boats will also be checked regularly to ensure both crew and equipment meet safety regulations.
Government agency staff will also be on hand to ensure safety standards are met before allowing boats to depart on tours. In addition, all passengers on boat tours will be required to provide standard information such as their identity, nationality, base in Phuket and their next point of embarkation.
About the Tourism Authority of Thailand: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (T.A.T.) was established in 1960 by the Royal Thai Government to be specifically responsible for tourism promotion. In 1965, T.A.T. opened its first overseas office in New York. Since then, T.A.T. has established 21 offices in different parts of the world.