Two British tourists have been murdered on Koh Tao, the Thai island famous for scuba diving.
The Bangkok Post reported police as saying that the bodies of “two foreign tourists… in their early 20s” were discovered on a rocky beach on Monday morning, who are thought to have been a British couple.
Local media reported that residents told police there had been a beach party for about 50 people, mostly overseas tourists, in the area on Sunday night.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said local authorities have started a thorough investigation and restrictions are in place to prevent anyone leaving the island.
A statement from TAT read: “Koh Tao is a relatively small island, north of Koh Samui and Koh Phangnan in the Gulf of Thailand. It is not on the main tourist trail but is certainly popular with backpackers and those with a keen interest in snorkelling and diving. Within the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao appeals to tourists who are looking to travel a little more off the beaten track from the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangnan – better known for their nightlife and beach parties.
“Koh Tao, and other beach and island destinations across Thailand, remain safe for tourists to travel to. Thailand welcomes more than 850,000 British and Irish tourists each year and many enjoy a safe and trouble free holiday. We understand this is an isolated incident. We have limited details on the circumstances at this time and are waiting for further information following the initial stages of the police investigation. Our thoughts and condolences are with the families and friends affected by the news.
“We understand this to be an isolated incident and is very much out of character for an island which is much loved for its quaint atmosphere. Local authorities have begun a thorough investigation and have put restrictions in place for the time being to prevent anyone (potential suspects) leaving the island. This may have an impact on tourists travel plans so we suggest they contact their travel agent, tour operator or chosen hotel for further advice if they are currently on, or are due to travel, to the island in the next few days.”