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Package tour purchasers beware, says TAT

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Fifty tourists recently found themselves abandoned by a resort, without rooms to check in to, after buying low-price tour packages, prompting the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Krabi to issue a warning to tour buyers.

“Several tourists booked and paid for Krabi tour packages at a travel fair in Bangkok, and even received booking confirmations. But when they arrived at the hotel, the Phuphranang Resort, they could not check in because the resort was overbooked,” said Wiyada Srirangkul, Director of TAT Krabi.

“Furthermore, the hotel did not assist the tourists in finding lodging at another hotel, they just turned them away.”

Because other tourists had had the same experience at the resort but had not filed complaints, Ms Wiyada pushed the group of 50 to go to the police, and accompanied them to the Krabi City Police station.

“If we can prove the tourists were tricked by the resort, we can charge the owner and relevant employees with fraud,” said Maj Chartchai Narkpaksee.

“We are also in contact with Consumer Protection to help us with this case,” added Ms Wiyada.

Thanatip Srisangwat, 32, one of the victims, said “I bought a three-day, two-night package including trips to the islands and airport pick-up and drop-off for five family members for 2,900 baht per person.”

The family arrived at Krabi International Airport to find that there was no hotel car to pick them up.

“We took a local taxi to the resort, but when we arrived, the staff told us that there were no rooms available even though we had a booking confirmation from them,” said Mr Thanatip.

“We then had to find another hotel and spend even more money on another tour package.”

Noting that Krabi’s image as a tourist destination could easily be tarnished by such events, Ms Wiyada urged hotels to treat guests fairly and urged tourists to be wary of low-priced packages.

“Please, do your research when purchasing package tours,” she said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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