Pattaya Establishes Fund to Pay for Tourists Deaths & Injuries
Much concern has been raised about the safety of tourists in Thailand both from thieves and from recreational injuries. We have closely followed the water tourism segment of those concerns. Several tourists have been struck and killed by boat propellers. The Chinese government and the U.K. government have both lashed out against Thailand in concern for their citizens.
With much of Pattaya’s economy riding on tourism, several entites tied to tourism applied for a government grant to be used to pay tourists victimized by crime or severely injured or killed during recreational activities during their visit. The grant was issued and payments are beginning to be made.
The group of concerned organizations started as a “club” and was recently awarded “association” status by the government. The grant was made to the newly recognized Help Tourists Victimized by Crimes in Pattaya City and Banglamung District association. Members of the association’s board include the District Chief, the mayor, the head of Mike’s Shopping Mall, the president of Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, and president of the Hotel’s Association Eastern Region.
Much of the information in our post comes from an article titled, New Association to Pay Tourists in High-Profile Accidents up to 100,000 baht. The article was published in Patayya Mail on 21 March 2014.
Under plans established by the association, tourists killed or injured in Pattaya could be paid up to 100,000 baht (about $3,100 U.S. dollars).
The association has a budget of just over 1 million baht ($31,000) and is authorized to pay out 100,000 baht to the family of those killed in headline grabbing accidents, 50,000 baht to those disabled, and 20,000 baht to those injured in these headline grabbing accidents.
To be eligible for the payments, individuals must be on a temporary visa and have been hurt in a public area that affects the tourism image of Pattaya.
To date, they paid out:
- 40,000 baht to two women from Russia that were robbed and raped
- 60,000 baht to three South Koreans that lost limbs during a boating accident
- 20,000 baht to a tourist from India struck by a boat propeller
- 20,000 baht to a Russian tourist struck by a propeller
The association is receiving some criticism over its first payment, 20,000 baht to the family of a police officer killed while trying to stop a large anti-government demonstration.
We commend Pattaya City Thailand for recognizing crimes and accidents impact local tourism, and for trying to do something about it through these payments and other measures.
We recognized we are far removed from the situation there, but it sounds like the first payment made may have hurt the credibility of the organization. We encourage the to be as open as possible in their dealings.
While the sums of money are quite low, they can still be of considerable help to families facing hardships in some areas of the world.
We encourage the region to devote similar efforts to trying to remove some of hazards that cause the injuries in the first place.
As did the author of this story, we found the association name, Help Tourists Victimized by Crimes in Pattaya City and Banglamung District association, a bit overwhelming, plus it makes no reference to their parallel concerns to those killed, maimed, or injured in recreational pursuits. To publicize their association, they might have a contest seeking names for their association from the public and offer a prize to the winner.
While we enjoy the frankness of Pattaya media, the sensationalism of some propeller injury headlines and images probably does little to promote tourism in their region.
We also salute Pattaya establishing a tourist court in September 2013. The court is intended to process cases much faster and allow victimized or injured tourists to receive quick verdicts while they are still in Thailand.