PHUKET: The Tourist Police are teaming up with soft drink bottler Haad Thip to build a refuge shelter for foreign tourists who fall on hard times during their stay in Phuket.
With millions of tourists visiting Phuket each year, inevitably some run into problems. These include financial difficulties, having no place to stay, and physical or mental health issues, said Phuket Tourist Police Superintendent Ekachai Pramanakul.
Many of the problems are alcohol-related, he said.
In some cases, tourists fall prey to gangs involved in gambling, property investment scams or drugs, he added.
With support from Coca-Cola bottlers Haad Thip PLC, the regional Tourist Police will build temporary accommodations near their headquarters on Yaowarat Road in Phuket Town.
The one-bedroom building will provide both tourists and expats with a place to stay in case of an emergency.
The Tourist Police will co-operate with honorary consuls based in Phuket to establish a fund which will take care of tourists in trouble and help them return home as soon as possible, said Lt Col Ekachai.
Some tourists may need to leave Thailand quickly, because they could be putting others at risk, he said.
The presence of foreign vagrants could also have an affect on Phuket and Thailand’s image, he added.
— Siang Tai
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