Phuket is kicking off a scheme that authorities say will help ensure the safety of international tourists during this high season.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Monday between those involved in the initiative, called the Phuket Crime Free scheme.
The MoU has brought together key players, including, at the government level, the provincial administration, provincial police, tourism police, immigration office, and the provincial land department office. Among the private sector representatives who signed the MoU were the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, Phuket Tourist Association, Phuket Real Estate Association, and the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association.
Pol Col Thanet Sukchai, superintendent of Phuket Immigration Police, said that in the current high season, Phuket is welcoming more than 200,000 visitors monthly.
He said when numbers get so large, it amplifies concerns about crime rates and illegal activities, especially drug offences.
The Phuket Crime Free scheme primarily focuses on securing tourist accommodation, encompassing hotels, guesthouses, condominiums, rental houses, and various residential setups. It aims to construct a comprehensive database of these establishments and their guests to ensure crime and narcotics-free environments that prioritise the safety of tourists.
Pol Col Thanet said the initiative aligns with Phuket's aspiration to establish itself as a premier global destination.
He said the extensive networking formed through this certification process promotes sustainable crime prevention and enhances the overall safety and security of the region.
Pol Col Thanet emphasised the importance of this collaboration in addressing loopholes that certain crime syndicates exploit by utilising Thai accommodations as operating bases.
For example, the recent termination of the TM.6 immigration card collection has resulted in a void of vital information regarding expatriates' residency during their travels in the country, especially noticeable during peak tourist seasons.