Better Australian tourist safety urged
- Published: 18/06/2013 at 08:55 PM
- Online news:
PHUKET - Australia has called for better safety of Australians visiting Phuket, now called the most dangerous place in the world for Australians despite being one of the country's top holiday destinations.
A tourist reads an electronic book on the sand at water's edge on a beach in Phuket. Phuket is attracting an increasing number of foreign tourists to its beaches, with more than six million expected in 2013. (EPA photo)
Jonathan Kenna, deputy head of mission at the Australian embassy in Thailand, said on Tuesday safety was at the top of the priority list, as more tourists from the country head for the kingdom.
Another problem was better transport from Phuket international airport to town and other beaches as the resort island now has just one road to link two places.
The concern was raised in talks with Phuket governor Maitree Inthusut.
Australians topped visitors from Oceania to Thailand. About 930,000 tourists from Australia visited Thailand last year, a 12% increase over 2011, according to the Tourism Department.
Thailand was deemed "the most dangerous place" for Australians followed by Greece, the Herald Sun reported in January, citing figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The 100 Australians who died in Thailand last year accounted for one in eight of the 791 deaths on foreign soil, it said.
The call from Australia followed a similar appeal from the European Union last Friday.
David Lipman, the EU ambassador to Thailand, said on Friday that transport, safety and jet ski scams were all high on the list of problems facing European visitors.
Jet ski operators for years have been accused of extorting money from tourists who rent the units. Typically they accuse the customer of having damaged the craft and demand tens of thousands of baht for repairs of replacement. Their demands are sometimes backed by threats of violence.
Tourists from Europe, including non-EU members, totalled 4 million last year, up 6% from 2011. Phuket was one of the favourite stops in Thailand.
About the author
- Writer: Achadtaya Chuenniran