BANGKOK, Thailand – Thai Tourist Police are promoting the use of an app, Tourist Buddy, which is now available at the iTunes store.
The free app, currently available only for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, is packed with travel and safety advice for tourists and travelers around Thailand.
The Tourist Police planned a press conference on Wednesday to formally introduce the app, but it was available on Wednesday morning at the iTunes store worldwide.
Tourist Police officers said earlier the app will be available in the Android store “soon”.
According to the download page, “This app acts like your Buddy. When you are lost or need to find travel places, you can use this app for searching.”
At first glance, it is packed with travel information and, especially, safety hints.
For example, it warns travelers in Phuket and Pattaya to be aware of possible scams by jet ski operators – a constant complaint of western tourists in Thailand.
“Before renting, please make sure that the jet-ski has insurance,” the app says, after stating that in Phuket, specifically, rental companies and agents must have insurance and be ready to show proof.
Tourist Police commander Pol Maj Gen Roy Inkapairoj, in an interview printed on the news aggregator blog Thai Visual, said the release of the app immediately before Songkran was carefully planned.
“Tourist numbers will increase sharply during this event,” he was quoted as saying, “and we realise the need to provide efficient services for all tourists.”
Tourist Police planned to open an “i-Exhibition” on Wednesday at Suvarnabhumi airport, which will remain open until April 16 and provide help in downloading the Tourist Buddy app.