PHUKET: Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin visited Phuket on Friday to inspect the readiness of the island's emergency response capabilities ahead of the high tourist season this month.
Phuket governor Sopon Suwanrat also briefed Mr Srettha on the province's tourist safety management plan, which aims to improve safety standards and eliminate marine accidents.
Mr Srettha praised the authorities concerned for their efforts to ensure the well-being of tourists. He said he hopes Phuket's plan will boost public confidence as well as tourist arrivals.
As part of his visit, Mr Srettha observed rescue drills for tourists at sea. He also inspected a CCTV operation centre, which utilises AI technology at Bang La beach to enhance security in the area.
"Phuket is one of [our] strategic provinces in terms of tourist confidence," Mr Srettha said.
"The drill is an announcement that we're ready to welcome tourists and that we are taking proactive steps to ensure their safety," he added.
Mr Sopon said 392 officials from 39 agencies took part in the drill, which was in line with the prime minister's policy.
The drill involved three mock incidents: a tourist being swept away by big waves, a boat collision in bad weather and the arrest of a criminal suspect.
Chalermsak Maneesri, mayor of Muang Patong, said local officials and businesses join hands to enhance tourist safety and attend regular training sessions to ensure preparedness to respond to any incidents that may occur.
He also addressed concerns regarding potential safety risks associated with the planned extension of operating hours for night entertainment venues, saying measures will be in place to prevent untoward incidents.