Surat Thani’s governor has imposed a ban on beach parties in the province for security reasons, five weeks after the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao.
However, the famous Full Moon Party held on Haad Rin beach of Koh Phangan each month will stay in place.
Governor Chatpong Chatphuti wrote to Thaweesak Inthaphrom, chief of the Koh Phangan district office, ordering him to prohibit any beach parties on islands throughout the province.
Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party is the only exception to the rule due to its enduring popularity among tourists, many of whom visit the country specifically to visit the event.
The ban is part of efforts to put a stop to vice and illegal activities which have been putting the country’s good reputation at risk, Mr Chatpong said.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha last week said it was time to restore order on the province’s islands.
The parties are often held in private spaces in secluded areas, so there is little protection police can offer party-goers.
Koh Phangan district office has relayed the order banning beach parties to various agencies, while police have removed posters put up around island districts informing tourists of upcoming events, including the Half Moon, Black Moon, Shiva Moon, and Jungle Experience Moon parties.
Meanwhile, Prawut Thawornsiri, spokesman of the National Police Office, said police chief Pol Gen Somyot Pumpanmuang had instructed officers nationwide to step up measures ensuring safety for tourists as the country enters its high season.
The Immigration Bureau, in particular, has been instructed to ensure convenience for tourists arriving at and departing from the country, said Pol Lt Gen Prawut.
The bureau must also keep better records of the number of people arriving, and where they stay, which can help in the event of security incidents.
This kind of information is particularly useful for the Tourist Police Bureau when handling security measures, he said.
A number of volunteers are being recruited to help tourist police maintain peace and order at popular destinations.