INVC, Chandigarh, The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Secretary to the Office of Courts of Justice will open Thailand’s first Tourist Protections Section in Pattaya Provincial Court on 5 September, 2013. Although the growing number of Thai and foreign visitors to Thailand has contributed to the country’s economy, it has also led to an increase in disputes, accidents and crimes involving tourists. As most tourists are only in Thailand for a short time, it is necessary for these cases to be handled expeditiously. In line with the policy of the Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mr. Somsak Pureesrisak, it was decided to set up a court in the beach resort of Pattaya, under the jurisdiction of the Pattaya Provincial Court. It will be a pilot project which should yield valuable feedback on what improvements need to be made before establishing similar courts in other popular Thai tourism destinations. Mr. Somsak said, “If tourist-related cases can be resolved quickly and fairly, it will create a good image for the country's justice system and will benefit the economy and society as a whole. Such cases create unnecessary problems for Thai tourism because they get media coverage and damage the image of the entire industry, hurting even those products and services that have had nothing to do with the incidents.” It will deal mostly with cases involving consumer protection issues, but more serious issue cases will be transferred to the regular court. It will also be staffed by competent personnel proficient in a number of foreign languages. The Office of Courts of Justice in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has resolved to open a Tourist Protections Section in all the main tourist destinations; such as, Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Chiang Mai, Bangkok (Dusit and Pathumwan Municipal Courts), and Pattaya. According to available figures, visitor arrivals to Pattaya totalled 9,409,497, in 2012, an increase of 4.62 % over the year 2011. Visitors had an average length of stay of 3.19 days and an average daily expenditure of 3,320.39 Baht per person, generating tourism revenue of approximately 95.911 billion Baht.