Thailand’s tourism minister has said that it is considering identification wristbands for tourists “so that if they’re out partying late and, for example, get drunk or lost, they can be easily assisted,” Reuters reports.
The possible move comes amid increased concerns for the safety of foreign visitors to Thailand following the brutal murders of British tourists Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, on the southern island of Koh Tao on September 15.
Under the new plan, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said hotels would hand out wristbands to tourists on check-in that would show a “serial number that matches their I.D. and shows the contact details of the resort they are staying in”. It was not immediately clear whether tourists would be obliged to wear the wristbands.
Other ideas being considered are a “buddy system” where Thais would assist tourists at popular tourist destinations and restrictions on where and when beach parties can be held. Witheridge and Miller are believed to have been murdered as they were returning to their resort after a party in Koh Tao.
Kobkarn said there had been a mixed reaction to the wristband proposal from hotels.
Thai authorities are struggling to limit damage to its lucrative tourism industry after months of protests, a military coup and the Koh Tao murders. International tourist arrivals to Thailand from January to August this year were down 10.66% compared to the same period last year, and have shown little sign if improvement since the coup.
Asian Correspondent blogger Bangkok Pundit wrote earlier this month:
Tourism is unlikely to be helped by the recent grisly killing of two young Britons in Koh Tao and the comments from Prayuth, as outlined by Saksith, which give the impression of casting blame on the victims which has not gone down well in the UK.
Minister Kobkarn added Tuesday: “The next step would be some sort of electronic tracking device but this has not yet been discussed in detail.”