The Nordic Coordination Emergency Group (NCEG) has recently held a meeting to evaluate the progress made since its establishment in December 2013 to get Nordic embassies and tourist agencies to cooperate to improve tourist safety and build up preparedness for emergencies.
The group, comprising 15 members, said at the 11 March meeting that they were happy with safety standards currently in place in Phuket, one of Thailand’s most popular destinations of tourists from the Nordic region.
The just-ended high season, from end of December to early March, when up to 60 plane-loads of Nordic tourists arrived in Thailand per week, was declared a success. During that period, there had been no major emergency situation and no accident involving large number of tourists.
There were some accidents here and there but no fatalities were reported due to some well-thought-out safety initiatives.
The NCEG invited Duncan Stewart from Safer Phuket, a safety advocacy group, to speak at the meeting. The NCEG was told that Safer Phuket has put defibrillators on standby along the white beaches of Phuket. One tourist’s life was actually saved at one of those beaches thanks to the availability of a defibrillator that had been put up on the very same day.
Lifeguard towers have also been erected on some beaches funded by companies, which then can use the towers as advertising space. It is NCEG hope that they can encourage even more Nordic companies to contribute to the development of a safer Phuket and in exchange for good publicity.
Safer Phuket has safety at sea as its focus, but it is also interested in promoting traffic safety. The NCEG hopes that once they succeed to improve tourist safety and preparedness for emergencies, similar projects could be expanded to the rest of Thailand.