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Phuket to upgrade marine safety with rollout of “smart piers”

As part of the new Safe Tourism campaign on Phuket, the island plans to introduce “smart piers”, says deputy governor Pichet Panapong. According to a Bangkok Post report, Pichet says the new piers will be part of a wider effort to promote marine tourism safety, which he says urgently needs to be improved.

“One of the problems we face is many piers do not have digital ID and some boats do not comply with safety standards. Some also lack emergency equipment on board.”

Smart piers will offer a pier management system and various services to passengers, including wristbands to track those who might be in need of assistance and an intelligent passenger management system. This system would include the ability to register tourists at the time of ticket purchase, using their passports or ID cards, with the data stored in a cloud system operated by the marine department.

Tickets purchased would be linked to wristbands or tokens worn by passengers. In addition, smart piers would have CCTV cameras at all entrance and exit points. Every boat would have tracking devices installed, along with an emergency system. Pichet says tracking devices would be able to transmit signals to a central command centre, making it possible to quickly locate any vessel in the event of an emergency.

“The smart pier project is the key for authorities to monitor tourists and tourist boats so they can help when needed.”

It’s understood the first of Phuket’s piers to get the upgrade will be Ao Por and Visit Panwa. A further 8 piers are expected to follow next year and by 2025, it’s hoped all 14 of Phuket’s piers will be smart piers.

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