They say a butterfly flapping its wings over the Amazon can impact people living thousands of kilometres away. While we won’t go into climate change or similar debates now, its true that an event affecting just a few people can have a profound effect on many further down the track. And so it seems, this is the case with the recent horrific murders of two young British tourists in Thailand.
While Thailand is hardly a stable country from a government’s perspective, its troubles have always mostly impacted the locals rather than tourists. However having such an unstable government can often result in things being overlooked or strange ideas being promoted in the national, (or international) interest. Earlier this month, Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said she had approached hotels over the idea of handing out wristbands to help identify tourists that get lost or into trouble. If our members reactions were anything to go by, it’s not going to be a popular move.
No way would I ever wear one nor even carry it. Whilst the intention may be admirable there are far too many negative consequences. E.g. if you’re wearing a bracelet you’re going to be a target for scammers and criminals.
No way will a taxi ever put on a meter nor will you ever be able to get a fair price for anything.
Many seasoned travellers would be well aware that the safest option when travelling is to actually blend in as much as possible with the locals. Wearing a SLR Camera as a necklace, or a fanny pack full of cash is rarely the way to do so. Wearing a tag that says you are a tourist surely is only going to invite trouble.
Whilst I would probably never truly pass as a local, if you where to wear one of those bracelets you might as well be wearing a big giant target on your back. Besides, yes some tourist do get into trouble OS, however how many tourists are there whom have traveled OS and come home with no problems at all?
Personally I think that a travel safety should be a course which one needs to take prior to getting their first (adult) passport which would cover things such as keeping safe whilst traveling, identifying scams (especially ones run by the local police), the fact that Australian safety standards are not applied therefore you need to make a judgement call on how safe certain activities really are, and finally how to maintain a level of control whilst enjoying a drink or three and more importantly why you need to maintain a level of control.
Perhaps it’s just a case of a politician floating an idea for publicity without any intention to put it into action. While we don’t know why the incident occurred, there are many steps you can take to be a safer traveller.
Do you have any better ideas on how to improve tourists safety, or do you think its an overreaction to an isolated incident, have your say HERE.