Bangkok, 5 February, 2016 – Thailand’s tourism authorities recognised individuals at a ceremony, at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, for good deeds that supported the country’s tourism image.
Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul and Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn, presented awards and blazers to five Thais and one foreigner.
“They are fine examples of the spirit of Thainess, as they went the extra mile to assist and show kindness to those in need,” the Minster commented.
She said it was appropriate to thank and honour people who demonstrate Thainess through good deeds and are the “Pride of Thailand”.
Those recognised came from different walks of life including a Tuk-Tuk driver, two fishermen, a restaurant worker, a neurosurgical nurse and a long-stay, foreign visitor.
Mr. Withoon Wattanakitworakul, a 51-year old Tuk-Tuk driver, came to the rescue of a Chinese tourist, victim of a snatch-and-flee thief, who sped off on a motorcycle. Withoon pursued the thief, retrieved the belongings that were flung onto the sidewalk, and returned them to the victim. The incident took place, 3 September, 2015, on Prapokklao Road in Chiang Mai.
Mr. Nanthapong Kachaart, a fishing boat master and Mr. Narong Boonvichit, his crewman, rescued Mrs. Haegeman Birgit, a 26-year Belgium tourist, stranded at sea off the coast of Ko Samui. She had been swimming alone and became separated from her kayak. After five hours in the sea, the two fishermen finally rescued her. They took her to Samui Hospital for treatment. The incident happened, 29 October, 2015, in Surat Thani province.
Mr. Mark Blackburn, Secretary of Chassis Brakes International and a long-stay visitor in Thailand, spent two mornings a week of his six-month stay collecting garbage along Wong Amat Beach. His cleanup venture even extended to other beaches on nearby Ko Lan during the course of his stay. When asked why, he said it was a love and respect for Thailand that prompted him to do something in return. (Cleanup activities spanned November last year in Chon Buri.)
Miss Kullasatree Chunhor, an 18-year KFC staff at Central Pattaya Beach, Pattaya, helped to feed a foreign handicapped tourist, who was having difficulty coping. The act of kindness occurred 26 December, 2015, in Chon Buri province.
Mrs. Srikanya Cheuarop, a neurosurgical nurse at Surat Thani Hospital, gave emergency medical assistance to Mr. Gunter Retsch, a German tourist on a cycling holiday in Surat Thani province. She was driving when she spotted Mr. Retsch lying on the side of the road. Her timely CPR intervention saved his life. She then drove him to Surat Thani Hospital for further treatment. The incident occurred 2 January, this year.
The latest awards of recognitions were inspired by the record viewings of a Youtube video that showed a fisherman, Mr. Chat Ubonchinda, 44 years old, of Krabi, rescuing two Norwegian tourists stuck in estuary mud on 17 October, 2015. TAT awarded him a certificate of honour; as such, TAT encourages both Thais and foreigners living in Thailand to strengthen the image of the country as a good host for tourists.
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
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