Thailand is working hard to improve safety standards across the board, with special attention being paid to the buses and boats that transport millions of foreign tourists every year. In addition to developing land and marine transportation standards, a combination of state and private enterprise groups are focusing on other aspects of tourism safety such as food, accommodation, tour guides and cybersecurity.
The plan is a joint effort between the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and government bodies such as the Department of Land Transport and the Marine Department. TCT president Chairat Triratanajarasporn has described the upgrading of Thai tourism standards as “the most important project of the council this year.”
In a statement released by TCT’s vice president, Wasuchet Sophonsathien, Thailand’s buses will be the first to benefit from the new scheme. Starting April 2019, they will be subjected to stringent vehicle checks, while bus drivers will receive training and have their driving hours limited. The plan states that a minimum of 1,000 tour buses (out of a total of 15,000 buses nationwide) should meet the expected safety standards within this year.
A special new logo will be displayed on buses that pass the safety standards. Government bodies like the TAT, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, plan to promote this logo as a badge of honour among bus tour operators and set an example by using only certified buses.
Following the bus initiative, TCT plans to implement tour boat standards by the end of this year. In a two-year plan, tour boat operators will be required to install GPS devices and provide GPS tracking wristbands to their passengers. The Thai Marine Department and local tour operators are already working closely with TCT members in popular beach destinations such as Phuket, Pattaya and Krabi to ensure that all boat captains are licensed and operators regulated to ensure the safety of passengers.
A technology subcommittee is being created to help tourism operators stay up to date with the latest developments in technology, so they can help their clients to stay safe online when travelling in Thailand.
Thanks to the range of new regulations from TCT, TAT and the government, tourists in Thailand will be able to enjoy their holidays with greater peace of mind and more resources available to them in case of emergencies.