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Andaman tour guides rally against illegal foreign workers

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: About a hundred Thai tour guides from the Andaman Guide Association gathered at Phuket Provincial Hall on Monday to protest against foreigners ‘stealing their jobs’.

The group, led by Andaman Guide Association head Krich Thepbamrung, submitted a letter outlining their demands to Phuket Vice Governor Prajiad Aksornthammakul.

“We urge the government to preserve these jobs, which are strictly reserved for Thais under the 2008 Tourism Business and Tour Guide Act. We have made several complaints in the past, but no action has been taken,” said Mr Krich.

“Foreign guides are illegally employed by companies that claim that Thai tour guides cannot speak foreign languages fluently, but being foreigners, they don’t care as much as we do about the image of Thailand,” said Mr Krich.

“Hiring foreign guides also brings unemployment to Andaman locals,” he added.

As well as demanding that laws are enforced to stop foreigners working as tour guides anywhere in the country, the association wants authorities to stop carrying out spot checks.

“These random spot checks on tour guides to check their papers do not help solve the problem of foreigners working illegally as tour guides. However, the association can help identify illegal guides,” said Mr Krich.

The association also demanded that regional tour guides are issued with national licences, allowing them to work anywhere in the country, rather than just regional licences, as is currently the practice.

Vice Governor Prajiad accepted the letter and promised to look into the matter.

— Sukawin Tanthavanich

 

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