Crackdown on illegal guides launched
PHUKET: The authorities in Phuket have started the high season by launching a crackdown on illegal foreign tour guides, particularly Koreans.
The province’s Chief Administrative Officer (Palad), Vichan Busapavanich, told the Gazette the crackdown was in response to “many complaints” about foreigners taking jobs reserved for Thai people, especially foreigners working as tour guides.
In the past there has been a shortage of Korean-speaking Thais to act as guides, so companies looking after Korean tourists have been allowed to hire Koreans to fill the gap.
But this year, the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) has provided Korean language training to 200 Thais.
K. Vichan said, “The course has now finished, and the 200 new Korean-speaking Thai guides should be enough [to meet demand].
“We are to going to remind the companies concerned about the guide situation and if we still find people who are breaking the law we will arrest them.”
He said the problem of foreigners working in Phuket involves two groups. The first comprises people who come as tourists but stay here and work illegally. The second group is foreigners working in occupations reserved for Thais.
He added that Phuket has around 113 tour companies that employ tour guides. An estimated 200 guides are foreigners, he said, but the Phuket Immigration Office, the Tourist Police and the Provincial Police are working together on this problem.
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