One of the worst scandals in the annals of tourism’ – Daily Mail

Flying Sporran’s Weekend Diary

As Thailand takes some hard knocks from a book about to be published called ‘Destination: Deadly Thailand’ – described by the Daily Mail as exposing  ‘one of the worst scandals in the annals of modern tourism’ – some chump in Koh Tao has again put of a tasteless picture on Facebook – confirming if nothing else – the growing divide been foreigners and Thais.

This is the second picture of a local posing with a hoe – used in the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in Koh Tao in September.

‘Destination: Deadly Thailand’ written by author John Stapleton (not to be confused with an old friend the British television news and features presenter of the same name) is predicting a slump in tourism and describes how it has gone downhill “since the unsolved murders of two British backpackers in September and a military coup.”

“In 2014, just as in the years preceding it, there were train, bus, ferry, speedboat, motorbike and car accidents, murders, knifings, unexplained deaths, numerous suicides, diving accidents, robberies gone wrong, anonymous bodies washing up on the shores and a string of alcohol- and drug-related incidents.”

 “Thailand has a (reference to monarchy redacted), weak democratic institutions, an economy slipping into recession, faces issues of corruption across many of its key services and is host to international crime syndicates, awash with despised foreigners and drifting perilously towards civil war.”

He adds: “The international coverage of the recent brutal killing of two British backpackers on the island of Koh Tao has highlighted what many long-time observers of Thailand already knew, that its tourist industry is poorly managed and the Land of Smiles has come to justifiably be regarded as one of the most dangerous tourist destinations on Earth,” he said.

Thailand is in fact the deadliest destination for Australians, or was last year according to its Department of Foreign Affairs. An Australian dies in Thailand every four days, according to spokesman Simon Merrifield.

He said motorbikes, power-ski accidents and alcohol-fuelled mishaps are the most common cause of serious injuries. Thailand’s full moon parties also often spark calls for help.

“Consular officers regularly assist young Australians who have been arrested, robbed, assaulted, sexually assaulted or injured during full moon parties,” Mr. Merrifield said. 

“Tragically, Australians have also died as a result of full moon party accidents.”

Disputes over power-ski hire, with claims of damage leading to demands for large amounts of compensation, are also common.

“We have had several reports of tourists being threatened with violence if the compensation is not paid. Some operators have also refused to return passports that tourists have left as a guarantee until such compensation is paid,” he said.

#JohnStapleton #HannahWitheridge #DavidMiller #TourismThailand #Deadlydestination


  1. Yes, there's a dark side — a very dark side. Though it's disingenuous to lay all the blame on Thais. The police and the transport department should enforce better driving standards but foreign motor cycle deaths can usually be laid at the door of the foreigner not the Thai, albeit that many are copying Thai riding standards.

    It's not obligatory to attend full moon parties and many go without mishap. What is wrong is that in the interests of tourism, the authorities turn blind eyes to the corruption and drug sales that are prevalent..

  2. In light of such danger tourists face due to corruption and Thai Mafia gangs. Thailand's government has produced a promotional Video that is aired on CNN. The advert is very captivating, but obviously done in typical backward Thai Fashion. Always trying to promote the land of smiles, heavenly charming and an enjoyable experience.

    The advert should be banned in the name of decency and respect to the murdered in Koh Tao. I am sure it will never be shown in the UK.

    Please try and view this for yourself. How dare they try and gloss over the seedy side of their nation with the aim of attracting dollars.

    Has there not been another disappearance on that Island, that of a Swiss tourist this time. Apparently who went for a snorkel.

  3. There are two sides to Thailand. It's right to highlight the dark side. Where would we be without the likes of AD to counteract the rosy views of the country put across by some travel bloggers. More sensibly, we should keep everything in perspective. It' not all bad. It's not all good. Face and corruption are the enemies. The present government HAS made inroads but it would be naive to believe it is all powerful against other interests in Thailand as I have said before. I'm pleased the UK in London are at last having the balls to issue better travel advisories but they can't go too far. They don't want Thailand to call in their loans!

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