Clips ‘not intended to harm tourism industry’
Widely distributed video recordings of foreign tourists reputedly being ripped off over damage to jet skis on Phuket and other incidents have been made to damage Thailand’s tourism reputation, authorities say.
The producers of the video clips – shown on British cable television and YouTube – and the victims of the alleged scams have denied the accusation.
Pol Lt Gen Santhan Chayanont, chief of Provincial Police Region 8 which covers the upper South, yesterday said efforts to tarnish Thailand’s image might be coordinated.
The video clips show a female British tourist being arrested for marijuana possession at a full moon party on Koh Phangan and a British marine and a US marine being threatened to pay exorbitant compensation for damage to rented jet skis on Phuket in separate incidents.
The footage, in which Thai police appear, were broadcast as part of the series Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand on Britain’s Bravo cable TV station and then spread to the internet.