Connect with us


Phuket guides call for action over Korean, Russian rivals



PHUKET: A Phuket provincial sub-committee has been formed to tackle the issue of illegal guides from Russia and Korea working in the local tourism industry.

Phuket Vice Governor Nivit Aroonrat on Tuesday chaired a provincial committee meeting aimed at tackling a variety of tourist rip-offs.

The gathering followed a visit to Phuket by the Interior Ministry in May when officials called on all relevant local authorities to study various ways tourists are cheated here, and to develop prevention plans.

Four sub-committees, comprising government and private-sector representatives, were given 15 days to list problems in each of four areas:

1. Public transport, such as illegal black plate taxis and scandalous tuk-tuk fares

2. Deceptive and threatening sales tactics, such as those used by some timeshare operators

3. Use of illegal guides and other unfair practices by tour operators

4. Environmental issues

One long-standing problem raised was the high number of Koreans and Russians working illegally as tour guides, a profession restricted by law to Thai nationals.

“I was told by many professional tour guides that there are many legal Thai guides in Phuket who have the ability to speak Korean or Russian, but they are rejected by foreign tour operators who claim their language skills don’t allow them to communicate effectively with their clients,” said Buayan Suwanmanee, director of the Phuket Office of Tourism and Sports.

Panompol Thammachart-Niyom, president of the Phuket Guide Association (PGA), offered another reason why the Korean and Russian tour operators do not want to hire Thai guides.

“Even if it is cheaper to hire legally-registered Thai guides, they hope to gain other benefits by hiring guides with the same nationality. The tour operators have bargaining power. They can rely on these illegal foreign guides to do their bidding since the foreign guides do not have work permits,” he explained.

“The tour operators can force the illegal foreign guides to take the tourists to visit and shop in places owned by Koreans and Russians, so money inflows are circulated among foreigners, not Thais,” he added.

Mr Panompol asked for legal action from related government authorities to help solve this problem.

“The government agencies can proceed with legal action, implicating ‘sitting guides’ and their employers,” he said.

“Sitting guide” is the term used locally to refer to accredited Thai guides who accompany tour groups in order to ensure compliance with the law, but who in fact have little or no direct contact with guests.

“I would like to ask the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Guide Registration Office to take serious action on these issues, which have gone unresolved for over a decade now. We have set up many committees in past years to tackle these problems, but they lacked the serious approach needed to get the job done,” he said.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Press Room3 hours ago

Best island boat tours from Phuket – must-visit islands and unforgettable experiences you should not miss out on

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Foreigners anger Chiang Mai locals for kissing in temple

World4 hours ago

Former Coventry footballer seriously ill in Thai hospital

Crime4 hours ago

Weapons used by jealous Thai man to murder and chop up lover found

Guides4 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Should you try Keto diet? 2022

Chiang Mai4 hours ago

River in Chiang Mai overflows, floods spread

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

3-year jail term for carrying crops, fruit & veg into Japan

Thailand5 hours ago

Bank repossesses the wrong house in central Thailand

Thailand5 hours ago

Innocent man jailed 7 months for 15.8 million baht theft demands justice

Weather6 hours ago

Thailand’s cold season expected to hit in late October

Thailand6 hours ago

ฺThai boxer blackmails 20 women into sending nude pics

World7 hours ago

South Korea gives North Korea a warning

Visa7 hours ago

Philippines offers attractive alternative to Thailand’s 10 year LTR visa

Phuket8 hours ago

Thousands join Chinese ceremony at Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Bang Sue’s Central Vaccination Centre officially closed

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11