Take note CNTA is concerned

BEIJING, 21 February 2018: China’s powerful tourism authority said at the weekend that it was “highly concerned” about a tour bus accident in southern Thailand that killed the Thai driver and injured 17 Chinese tourists.

The news service Xinhua quoted the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) that released a statement saying it had instructed its local office in Thailand to urge hospitals to spare no efforts to treat the injured.

It also called on Thai police to find out the cause of the accident as soon as possible.

Thailand should welcome more than 10 million Chinese tourist this year, up from nine million in 2017. Any warning from CNTA with reference to safety could impact on bookings and is a concern for Thai authorities.

A bus carrying 35 Chinese tourists heading from a hotel in Krabi to a ferry port in Phang Nga crashed into a pole last Friday Thai media reported.

The Chinese consulate general based in Songkhla said at the weekend that nine of the 17 injured were hospitalised. Among them, three suffered severe injuries, including two children.

CNTA has been critical of road safety in Thailand particularly in Phuket where numerous tour buses crashed on roads leading to resorts on the hilly western coast. Frequently, brake failure was blamed for the fatal accidents, but local authorities admitted drivers were reckless often speeding through steep hairpin bends.  Tour buses sub contracted by local partners of Chinese tour operators were also sub-standard.

Chinese tour operators, who enter into partnerships with local travel and transport suppliers are failing to conduct due diligence on safety standards of the vehicles or drivers contracted to transfer their guests.

The poor safety record also extends to ferry transport and marine tour boats used by Chinese tour companies that have also been involved in numerous accidents.

According to the World Health Organisation, Thailand has the worst road accident fatality rate of 66 deaths daily, mostly blamed on drunk and reckless drivers.