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Issued at 15.00 Hrs. (GMT+7) on 8 July 2018


This is the third edition of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's (TAT) update regarding the recent boat incidents, which took place on 5 July, 2018, in the Andaman Sea south of Phuket.

This morning, TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn issued a statement about the boat incidents in Phuket, saying that TAT would heighten safety measures for Chinese tourists in Thailand to prevent such events from occurring again in the future.

TAT has continued to cooperate closely with concerned public and private agencies to assist families and relatives of the victims who are travelling from China to claim the bodies of their loved ones as follows:

  1. Upon arrival at Phuket International Airport: Families and relatives of the deceased can contact the 'emergency assistance centre', a joint effort by the TAT Phuket Office, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), the Phuket Tourism Association (PTA) and the Thai Hotel Association (THA) Southern Chapter, upon their arrival at Phuket International Airport. The 'emergency assistance centre' will assign Chinese-speaking interpreters and assist with local transfers and accommodation as well as help obtain all necessary documentation to claim the bodies.

  2. Claiming the Bodies: Families and relatives of the deceased are advised to contact Vachira Phuket Hospital to identify photographs and belongings of their loved ones. Once the relations have been confirmed, families should then contact the Chinese Consulate in Phuket to issue a certificate to receive the body from the Hospital. The Hospital will then issue a death certificate that identifies the causes of death for families to file for a police report. The police report can then be presented to the Hospital to claim the body.


Forensic Police in cooperation with the Chinese Consulate have so far confirmed identification of 33 of the 41 bodies recovered. The Phuket Public Health Office has also assigned doctors to care for families and relatives who may be suffering from stress from this traumatic event.

The search for survivors continued today by both air and water and expanded to cover the area around the boat by a radius of 500 metres and as far as Ko Phi Phi, Krabi and nearby islands. The Chinese Government has sent a team of 17 experts to assist in the search.

TAT is monitoring and assessing the situation and will be providing further details as the situation develops. In the meantime, we would like to encourage travellers to obtain information from various sources to get a balanced understanding about the reality on the ground in Thailand, so that they can plan their trips accordingly.

For more information on various Thai tourist destinations, visit: www.tourismthailand.org
For constant updates on Thailand's tourism, visit: www.tatnews.org
For more information, contact the TAT Call Centre 1672.
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Statement about the Boat Accidents in Phuket
by
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn
Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
- - - - - - - - - - - -

A marine tourism accident occurred in Phuket on 5 July, 2018, at 17:45 Hrs., resulting in a large number of casualties and injured, mostly Chinese tourists. The Royal Thai Government expresses its deepest sympathies to the relatives and families of those who suffered losses in this tragic event. Initially, it was believed that the accident was caused by storms and weather conditions in Southern Thailand. However, the relevant authorities are still investigating the exact cause. Immediately after the incident, all responsible agencies, both in the public and private sectors, as well as people in the area were fully mobilised in the search and rescue operations to find survivors as well as to provide assistance to all victims in terms of medical services, transportation, interpretation and communication.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to emphasise that we will do everything possible to extend the maximum care and attention to survivors. Search operations are still ongoing in a coordinated manner by all relevant agencies. We will also heighten safety measures for Chinese tourists in Thailand to prevent such accidents from occurring again in the future. This is consistent with the policy of the Thai tourism industry to consider and initiate ways to focus not only on the volume of tourists, but also provide and maintain quality services.

TAT will put our extreme efforts to do what we can to help alleviate the situation. The 5 TAT offices in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu and Guangzhou are ready to help and act as coordination centres for those people wanting any information updates on the incident.

ssued on 08 July, 2018 at 09.00 Hrs.
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Issued at 15.00 Hrs. (GMT+7) on 06 July 2018

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update regarding yesterday's boat incidents, which took place in the Andaman Sea south of Phuket. The Royal Thai Government has confirmed that everything possible is being done to assist all affected, and the search and rescue operations will continue until every missing person is found.

TAT would also like to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the tourists who lost their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are also with those who were injured, and we hope that they recover from their injuries and make a swift and full recovery. For those who are still missing, we know that the authorities are doing everything in their power to facilitate their recovery.

As the incidents took place in busy waters, rescue and fishing boats as well as marine police and the Royal Thai Navy were able to reach the scenes within minutes to provide help as well as undertake the emergency search and rescue operations. Early this morning, the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command deployed four helicopter carriers, four patrol vessels and a team of divers to continue the search and rescue operations for the missing people, in cooperation with related government and private agencies as well as volunteers including fishing boats.

According to official reports, three boats capsized and sank due to bad weather and high waves around late afternoon on Thursday, 5 July, 2018. The boat, Phoenix, carrying 105 people including 93 tourists - mostly Chinese, a tour guide and 11 crew capsized and sank near Ko Hei (Coral Island), south of Phuket. Another boat, Sereniga, carrying 42 people including 35 tourists, a guide and six crew, capsized off Ko Maithon, southeast of Phuket, while a jet ski with two drivers capsized near Ko Racha. In addition, eight other boats with 166 passengers were stranded at Ko Racha. As of this morning, six boats and 136 passengers have returned safely to Phuket while two boats with 30 passengers remain at Ko Racha.

At the time of writing, all passengers and crew of the Sereniga, two jet ski drivers and 49 passengers of the Phoenix had been rescued. Search and rescue operations continue for the 35 remaining passengers of the Phoenix while 21 people have been confirmed dead.

Survivors were taken to Phuket's Ao Chalong Pier, where an emergency tourist assistance centre is located at the Phuket VTMS Control Centre. The injured were taken to the Phuket Provincial Hospital, Mission Hospital Phuket and Vachira Phuket Hospital. All concerned authorities are instructed to help all the injured people get the best medical care for their injuries, and to coordinate with the families and relatives of those who lost their lives to provide any assistance they may need.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has announced that it will extend compensation of 300,000 Baht per person for those who lost their lives from this tragic incident. For the injured, the medical expenses can be reimbursed according to the actual spending, but not exceeding 500,000 Baht.

TAT is monitoring and assessing the situation and will be providing further details as the situation develops. In the meantime, we would like to encourage travellers to obtain information from various sources to get a balanced understanding about the reality on the ground in Thailand, so that they can plan their trips accordingly.

For more information on various Thai tourist destinations, visit: www.tourismthailand.org
For constant updates on Thailand's tourism, visit: www.tatnews.org
For more information, contact the TAT Call Centre 1672.

More update at: Thailand tourism assistance measures for the affected tourists of the boat incidents in Phuket
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Bangkok, 5 July, 2018 - H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports, yesterday presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Charles Harper, who represented the British cave diving team, at Suvarnabhumi Airport. The team were thanked for their efforts in rescuing the 12 boys and their assistant football coach who were found alive and safe in Tham Luang Cave after they went missing for nine days.






The Minister also provided his appreciation to all the Thai and international rescue teams. "Our gratefulness is the heartfelt thanks from the people of Chiang Rai and all Thais. The bravery and care demonstrated by Mr. Robert Harper's, Mr. Richard Stanton's, and Mr. John Volanthen's actions, as well as those members of the rescue teams from Australia, China, Japan, Lao PDR., Myanmar and the USA, are held in the highest stead, and we take great honour and pride in extending our sincere thanks to all of them," said Mr. Kowsurat.
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Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (centre); Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak (back row, left);
TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn (front row, 4th right) and representatives from seven Thai restaurant groups at the
MOU signing event in London on 21 June 2018



London, 26 June, 2018 - Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha recently presided over the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and seven Thai restaurant groups - Minor Group, Thai Square, Giggling, Thai Leisure Group, Kho Thai, Rosa Group and Bussaba Group - to launch a new 'Eat Thai Visit Thai' promotion aimed at boosting travel from the UK to Thailand.

PM Prayut attended the MOU signing as part of his official visit to the UK and France, from 20-25 June, to promote Thailand's economic potential and investment opportunities under the 'Thailand 4.0' national development policy (2017-2022) that envisions the transformation of the kingdom into an innovation and technology driven economy.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: "TAT is extremely honoured that His Excellency Prime Minister Prayut personally witnessed our landmark signing event in London on 21 June to launch the 'Eat Thai Visit Thai' promotion, which puts emphasis on using gastronomy tourism as one key part to promote Thailand as a preferred destination and to help spread the benefits of tourism across local communities nationwide."

TAT's 'Eat Thai Visit Thai' promotion corresponds with the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan and 2nd National Tourism Development Plan. By leveraging on two of Thailand's lucrative industries - food and tourism, which generated 850 million Baht and 2.76 trillion Baht respectively in 2017, the promotion is expected to help promote the kingdom's emerging generation of 55 secondary destinations and better balance the distribution of tourist arrivals between urban and rural areas.

From 1 August, 2018, to 30 September, 2019, TAT will be working closely with its strategic partners to boost travel from 10 regional cities in the UK including Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and Liverpool to Thailand's clusters of secondary destinations.

Besides the collaboration with the seven Thai restaurant groups that offer over 100 restaurants in the UK, TAT will also rope in cooperation from Thailand's beverage producers - Thai Beverage, Singha Corporation and Siam Winery; airline partners include Thai Airways International, EVA Air, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways; tour operator partners in the UK, and the travel trade media.

Over the course of about one year, the 'Eat Thai Visit Thai' promotion will see strategic partner restaurants telling the story of Thai food sources under a 'Thai Food and Travel Kit' activity and presenting unique Thai local dishes under the 'Regional Thailand Signature Dishes' menu.

UK celebrities will also be invited to 'D I Thai' cookery course evenings that will be publicised via social media channels, while cooking enthusiasts will have the chance to win exciting prizes from 'The Great "Thai Cook Off" competition. In addition, fans of Thailand will be offered special package tour prices during the 'Eat Thai Visit Thai January Sale' for travels in the following winter season.

In 2017, Thailand welcomed 994,468 arrivals from the UK, generating 76.61 billion Baht. For 2018, TAT expects revenue from the market to grow by 5 per cent.
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