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New tour guide regulations rolled out at Phuket airport

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) Phuket Office is cracking the whip on tourism businesses in Phuket, conducting island-wide raids and imposing stricter requirements for tour companies.

“We checked the documents of tour companies and guides collecting incoming tour groups from Phuket International Airport, but did not find any illegal activity,” Santi Pawai, director of the MOTS Phuket Office, told the Phuket Gazette this afternoon, following two days of raids at the airport.

Despite finding no illegal tour guides, Mr Santi explained that a new regulation will demand that all tour companies picking up clients at the airport present a job order – providing the names of the tour guides, as well as detailed information about the tour and its guests – to military officers stationed at the airport. The new rule comes into effect on Monday.

“We have already informed tour companies that they must bring the job order to the military at the airport and receive an official stamp approving their tour,” he said.

“If a company fails to do so, its operations will be suspended for 15 days.”

Mr Santi also said that all job orders must be written in Thai – no exceptions.

“A main issue we often encounter is that many tour companies do not write their job orders in Thai, which makes it more difficult for us to verify them,” he said.

Mr Santi told the Gazette that raids would continue in various tourist locations throughout the island.

“Illegal tour guides have a negative effect on Thai society, especially in Phuket, which is why our government takes the issue so seriously,” Mr Santi explained.

“Tour guide jobs are reserved specifically for Thai nationals. If there are illegal, foreign tour guides, it will result in the unemployment of Thai tour guides.”

Mr Santi did not give a specific date for the next set of raids.

Last week, an illegal Chinese tour guide was swept up at the Karon View Point (story here).

Earlier in January, a Russian woman was also arrested at Karon View Point for working illegally as a guide (story here).

— Kongleaphy Keam

 

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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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