“There are always problems with tourist safety,” he said. “They think our country is beautiful and is safe so they can do whatever they want, they can wear bikinis and walk everywhere.
But “can they be safe in bikinis ... unless they are not beautiful?”
Chan-ocha has also said the brutal killings are a new blow to Thailand’s tourism industry.
“This should not have happened in Thailand. It will affect our image in the eyes of international countries,” he said.
“In their countries, (foreigners) can travel wherever they want, so they thought it is safe, but in our country, there are still problems. There are different types of people, so they have to be careful,” Prayuth told AP. “Those related must warn them and this incident has to be investigated because Thai people won’t tolerate this.”
Both had deep wounds and gashes to the head and face that police believe were inflicted by a bloodied hoe found near the bodies.
More than 70 police officers were deployed to Koh Tao, a popular diving destination in the Gulf of Thailand, as the country’s leaders called for a swift investigation into the brutal killings.
The attack came amid government efforts to revive Thailand’s tourism industry after a military coup in May ended prolonged, sometimes violent political protests. Martial law remains in effect in many parts of Thailand.
Koh Tao, which is about 410km south of Bangkok, is a quiet, small island just a short boat ride from the better-known Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. The latter is known for its raucous “full moon” parties that attract young foreigners and Thais.