New rules to fine bad practices with tour guides and tour companies

PHOTO: Tiger Tours Thailand

The Tourism Department is hoping to fast-track the penalising of unregistered and illegal tour guides and the tour companies using them. The Department will propose amendments to the tourism business and tour guide act so that penalties will be able to be imposed on violators more expediently.

Thaweesak Wanitcharoen, director general of the Tourism Department, says that his department is in the process of studying amendments to the Tourism Business and Tour Guide Act of BE 2551 to increase penalties.

He says the amendments would allow the authorities to more quickly punish errant tour guides and operators of tourism businesses through a three-step process of issuing a warning, suspending licences and revoking licenses. In the case of severe wrongdoing, the authorities may skip the two precedent steps and directly revoke licenses.

The department is pondering the amendments because people affected by the malpractice of tourism business operators were having to wait quite a long time to get their money back. The planned amendments would require the operators to quickly return money to affected tourists, Thaweesak added.

He says his department is also studying how to set minimum prices for tour packages to prevent tourism operators from participating in extreme discounting that could cause negative effects on tourists.

SOURCE: The Nation

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