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Move to curb long-tail rip-offs

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Move to curb long-tail rip-offs | Thaiger

RAWAI: Island-wide measures are to be introduced to register all of Phuket’s long-tail boats, set standard fees for tourist trips, and punish rip-off boat operators. Most of the island’s long-tail operators are honest, but some unscrupulous boatmen have been known to charge excessive rates and cheat tourists. Another cause for concern – and action – is the tour group operators who overcharge tourists but underpay long-tail boatmen for their services. Seang Chanalerd, president of the Rawai Long-tail Boat Club and Poo Yai Baan (village chief) of Rawai, told the Gazette about a case in which a tour operator charged a group of tourists 2,000 baht each for a trip but paid the boatman just 800 baht. Earlier this week, a group of about 60 local boat owners gathered at Rawai to signal their support for the first stage of the project, which has the backing of the Marine Department and the Rawai Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor). It is hoped that eventually long-tails will also be required to carry life jackets, and will be prevented from taking visitors out to sea in unsafe weather – especially during the sudden storms that spring up in the monsoon season. Establishment of an insurance scheme is also being looked at. K. Seang said he hoped that it will not be long before regular scales of fees are available and tourists can tell from looking at a boat that its driver has the approval of authorities and abides by the regulations.

 

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