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Thailand Wants Tourist ID Bands After Murders

After two brutal unsolved murders of visiting British backpackers, Thailand wants ID bands to help missing and intoxicated tourists.
/ Source: Reuters

Following the brutal unsolved murders of two British backpackers two weeks ago, the Thai tourism minister is seeking ID bands for tourists in case they get lost, drunk, or in trouble. Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said Tuesday that she is reaching out to hotels to hand out identification wristbands to its guests. The bands would have a serial number and the contact information for their resort. The minister said tracking devices had also been discussed, as well as assigning tourists a local handler. But neither the wristbands nor the ideas of imposing curfews or limiting beach parties were likely to go over well with tourists, who account for nearly 10 percent of GDP. Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found on a beach on a southern island on September 15, dead by head wounds and drowning, forensic examinations showed. A May 22 coup and sometimes violent street protests have already dented tourism. Visitor levels dropped in August 11.9 percent from a year earlier.

-- Reuters