National Police Advisor Pol Gen Chatchai Potranan chaired a meeting of top police officers and Songkhla business operators led by Songkhla Chamber of Commerce head Surachai Chitphakdeebordin to agree on security measures and revive Hat Yai’s tourism ambiance, to rebuild tourist confidence before the Songkran festival next week when tourists from Singapore and Malaysia usually flock to celebrate here.
Gen Chatchai told reporters after two hours the meeting agreed on measures including checkpoints on four main roads and at least 40 minor roads on a 24-hour basis.
Hat Yai city centre will be zoned and vehicles using CNG and LPG gas will not be allowed in basement car parks of hotels and shopping centres.
Closed circuit television monitors will be serviced to ensure they work properly, and security staff will be trained to better notice suspicious vehicles and falsified registration plates.
Mr Surachai said that the car bomb attack at the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel on April 1 which killed three, including two Malaysians, and wounded over other 350 tourists and shoppers has cost at least Bt800 million in damages as virtually all domestic tourists have cancelled their stays in the province, while Malaysians have partially cancelled.
The Songkhla business sector urged the government to prepare Bt10 million individual insurance coverage in case of terrorist attack to build confidence among tourists and security measures should be stepped up at important locations, particularly at the airport.
Pol Lt-Gen Worapong Chewpreecha, assistant to the national police chief, also attended the meeting. He said that stolen car cases in the three southern provinces will be regarded as important cases because vehicles used in car bomb attacks were all stolen.
Report by : MCOT