Thailand is an extremely popular destination with backpackers and mature travellers alike, however in recent years the country has not received great press.
On New Year’s Eve the debate about safety in Thailand reached its breaking point, when Stephen Ashton (22 years old) was shot dead at a beach party. It has been reported that two groups or gangs were having a gun fight on the beach (which is extremely popular with young travellers), when a stray bullet hit Mr Ashton in the upper body, he was then pronounced dead in hospital.
This event was almost a ‘final straw’ after a string of deaths, injuries and road accidents in Thailand, and international leaders told the Thai Government to make their country safe again.
As a result, the Thai Government have set up a fund worth €1.2 million to help any foreign tourists who find themselves in need of help in Thailand. They have also promised to work closely with different law enforcing departments to protect tourists against injuries and scams.
A very big part of this initiative is road safety, so the county’s Road Safety Centre are introducing new measures to protect tourists when using road transport, including, handing out a road safety handbook to arriving tourists, and monitoring the safety and condition of bus and taxi drivers.
Hopefully these new initiatives along with properly enforcing current laws will help to reduce the disturbing statistics, make the country a safer place for tourists and restore international confidence. However, you should always remember to check the FCO’s travel advice before booking your trip – to make sure your chosen destination is safe and open for travel, and don’t forget to invest in quality travel insurance.
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