Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: For tourists, due diligence is essential, as is due skepticism for media hype

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Tourist safety issues have been a hot topic in the news lately as the number of accidents and crimes involving foreign visitors continues to grow with the largely unregulated expansion of the island’s tourism industry.

Despite the often colorful announcements of an impending “crackdown” on this or that, or the establishment of another new “safety zone” or other largely cosmetic, public-relations campaign, the fact is that the island’s socio-economic development in recent years seems to make it an increasingly attractive destination for a wide range of visitors: from stateless Rohingya arriving over open ocean in rickety boats to those touching down at Phuket International Airport in private jets before being whisked away to a five-star resort or someone’s mega-villa..

The need for better security in Phuket has at least registered at the national level, as is evident by a slew of recent developments and pronouncements. These include 251 million baht in funding for the installation of 2,450 more CCTV cameras (story here), calls by the governor for a massive increase in police manpower, a Department of Special Investigations crackdown on illegal taxis (story here) and the establishment of an Organized Crime Center for Tourism at Phuket Airport (story here).

With so much information on safety-related issues in Phuket available online, one can only take pity on first-time, independent tourists with little or no knowledge of the island elements to steer clear of.

Those who do their homework and research Phuket will be inundated with a virtual tsunami of things to worry about: everything from very real dangers, such as rip currents and riding a motorbike, to the completely over-hyped, such as being trampled by elephants.

Despite the recent global media attention on safety issues, Phuket remains a relatively safe destination, at least for people with a modicum of “street smarts” and common sense.

Though the trend in crime statistics may show an increase, who could reasonably expect otherwise as the island becomes increasingly urban and more densely populated?

For the reader who might come across this trend as part of doing their “due diligence” before travelling to Phuket, we would advise reading the safety warnings posted on their respective government’s websites, taking into consideration that these tend to err on the side of caution.

Tourists are also strongly advised to arrive with adequate travel insurance, as most recently encouraged in an announcement by German honorary consuls (story here). The Thai government should seriously consider making travel insurance mandatory for foreigners, possibly making it available to them on a temporary basis through its own social security scheme.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Road deaths12 hours ago

Dead woman in car pulled out of Kanchana Buri canal

World12 hours ago

As Iran revolts, president vows to deal with protests

Election13 hours ago

POLL: Top 2 picks for prime minister are “nobody” and Ex-PM’s daughter

China13 hours ago

No word from China on Xi military coup whispers

Pattaya14 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya tourist allegedly punches elderly Australian man in face

Thailand15 hours ago

Thai TikTok star detained at Singapore airport over huge amount of cash

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Kanchanaburi16 hours ago

Kanchanaburi school director found dead in canal

Pattaya17 hours ago

Small children in Pattaya learn to get help when locked in hot cars

Chiang Mai17 hours ago

Heavy rains collapse part of Chiang Mai’s ancient city wall

Events18 hours ago

6-hour whiskey drinking contest draws criticism

Pattaya19 hours ago

Pattaya official urges mayor to expand legal nightlife zone

Thailand19 hours ago

Things you can do in Thailand during the rainy season

Indonesia20 hours ago

Earthquake in Indonesia felt throughout southern Thailand

Patong20 hours ago

Foreign women rescued from rip current in Patong

Thailand2 days ago

Woman smashes up her 1.5 million baht car over feud with Ford Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending