PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expressed his regret over a guard at Don Mueang Airport slapping a Chinese tourist, pointing out that something like this should not have happened because it greatly tarnishes the country’s image, Sanook.com reported today (Sept. 30, 2018).
Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd quoted Gen Prayut as saying even though the tourist refused to show documents confirming his stay in Thailand, refused to go to a waiting room, and behaved in an unsuitable manner towards an official, the official should not have lost his temper, as behaving in an internationally-accepted manner is imperative because the airport is the entry point to the country.
Gen Prayut is also concerned about the feelings of Chinese tourists because last July 42 of them died after a boat capsized off Phuket, which led to a big drop in arrivals from China, with this incident following on.
He has order the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and all concerned units to quickly rebuild confidence.
Meanwhile Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) has ordered the suspension of the guard, with an order ensuing to sack him because this is a severe breach of discipline and badly affects the country.
Also suspended are the director of Don Mueang Airport and the head of the security section for 30 day so as to undertake an investigation into this incident.
AOT has already sent this tourist back to China and will be sending a letter to the Chinese embassy to apologize to him.
Top: The airport guard about to slap the Chinese tourist. Photo: Sanook.com