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Deaths prompt Thailand beach party ban


Thai province takes strong steps to avoid future incidents

Island beach parties in southern Thailand’s largest province, Surat Thani, have been banned following the murder of two British tourists last month.

 

Surat Thani governor, Chatpong Chatputhi, said the ban, which comprises every island in the province, including Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, was put in place to help “put things in order”.

 

According to Sky News International, the governor said only Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party, which attracts thousands of foreign visitors each month, would be allowed to proceed because it was well organized.

 

“We've reached a point where we need to clean up the image of tourism in the province including beach parties that can get out of control and lead to violence,” Mr Chatputhi said.

 

"This is aimed at tourists' safety. Sometimes these parties are held at secluded locations that are difficult to reach and where we cannot offer adequate protection.”

 

Authorities on affected islands are already taking down posters advertising parties.

 

Thai police say Britons Hannah Witheridge and David Miller had been out drinking before heading to a secluded stretch of beach on Koh Tao, or Turtle Island, where they were killed on 1 September, Sky News reported.

 

The announcement comes after Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said she wanted hotels and resorts to hand out wristbands to help identify tourists that get lost or into trouble.

 

Tourism, which accounts for ten percent of Thailand’s GDP, has been hit hard by recent events in the country, with martial law blamed for a fall in foreign visitor numbers between January and September.

 

What do you think of the province’s beach party ban? Do you think it will help curb any violence?

 

Read about Traveltalk’s recent journey to northeast Thailand, and our night out in Bangkok.

            


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 29 October 2014


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