Phuket apologises for attack on Chinese tourist

Phuket apologises for attack on Chinese tourist

Li Chenglong, counsellor director of China's Phuket Consular Office, centre, receives a souvenir from representatives of the Phuket Tourist Association for delivery to the injured Chinese tourist, during his meeting with Phuket governor Narong Woonciew, second right, at the provincial hall on Tuesday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Li Chenglong, counsellor director of China's Phuket Consular Office, centre, receives a souvenir from representatives of the Phuket Tourist Association for delivery to the injured Chinese tourist, during his meeting with Phuket governor Narong Woonciew, second right, at the provincial hall on Tuesday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: Phuket officials have met with a Chinese consular official, apologised for a tour agent's attack on a Chinese tourist and reported on the penalty given in the case.

Li Chenglong, counsellor director of China's Phuket consular office, met Phuket governor Narong Woonciew and other local officials on Tuesday to discuss the Feb 1 incident.

On that day a woman at a Thai tour firm kicked a Chinese customer and inflicted a cut on his arm with a small knife during an argument over the client's demand for a full refund for a trip he and his family missed on Jan 31.

After the incident, the tour agent said she acted in self-defence after they were unable to agree on the size of the refund for the family's missed tour to the Similan Islands. She said he was agressive.

Investigators found that the tour firm did not pick up the family for the trip becuse of a miscommunication on their meeting point.

The Phuket governor invited Mr Li to the meeting at the provincial hall on Tuesday. He apologised for the incident and informed him about the punishment given to the tour agent and her company.

The governor said the tour agent was charged with physical assault and illegal possession of a knife in public and she was liable to a prison term of up to three months and/or fine of 60,000 baht.

Her firm was suspended from business for six months and was being prosecuted for tarnishing the nation's reputation and damaging its tourism image. The offence carried a fine of up to 500,000 baht, governor Narong said.

Mr Li responded that he was satisfied and grateful for the quick action by Phuket officials.

He believed the incident would not affect Sino-Thai relations. He proposed Phuket officials report the incident and their response via the mass media, so that the Chinese people would be informed and there would be no repetition of such an incident.

Mr Li also said that Chinese people were impressed with the Thai government because it warmly welcomed Chinese immediately the Chinese government allowed them to travel abroad, and the impressive welcome was a main reason for Chinese people to choose Thailand as their destination.


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