The governor of Surat Thani told media last Monday that he has planned to litigatean English-speaking website for labeling Koh Tao “Island of Death.” The site released the news before it went viral. Such news will definitely affect the businesses of Koh Tao villas in the area. It can either make or break the success of the island.
UaychaiInnaksaid such tagging by Samui Times twisted the condition of the island and discredited its reputation as a tourist attraction. Previous death of two British tourists has made the island less popular in later years – with the most recent a Belgian touristwhere police determined as suicide.
“The news coverage showed false accusations that triggered negative image of the tourism sector for the province,” said Uaychai. “As the provincial governor, I represent someone directly ruined by it as it can affect greatly businesses offering Koh Tao villas.”
Its local officials met with business operators of the island on Tuesday to include the damages to their businesses in the wake of the story about the death of Elise Dallemagne.
They appointed aPhangan official to file complaints against Samui Times with Koh Tao police station. The news website will face libel and for violating the Computer Crime Act for writing bad information.The governor said its officials are gathering more proofs before taking it to the police station.
Samui Times usually produces scoops about KohSamui and nearby island, Koh Tao.It has provided comprehensive coverage to foreign tourists who either went missing or died on the island.The last incident was the 30-year-old Belgian tourist Dallemagne hanging in the jungle. You also find here lots ofKoh Tao villas where tourists can rent.
The news site often referred the island as “Death Island,” though it classifiedits nickname to expat communities and international media reports.
Many emails have been sent to Samui Times for comments about the incident but none werereplied as of Tuesday morning.
Under Thai law, libel is a serious offense. Civil rights proponents said the complaint is often used by authorities to admonish media agencies from reporting disputable topics.The news can greatly affect businesses offering Koh Tao villas for tourists planning a stay in the island.