THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Cheating tour agents facing crackdown

BANGKOK: The Tourism Department will investigate tour companies representing Chinese operators to prevent the employment of illegal tour guides and reduce the annual number of tourist fraud complaints by two-thirds to 100 in the next two years.

crimedrugspolicetourism
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 15 September 2015, 02:46PM


Chinese tourists visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok in August 2015. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Chinese tourists visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok in August 2015. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The probe into some big travel agents who were Chinese nominees will be launched soon, said Sutham Dechdi, director of the departmentʼs Bureau of Tourism Business and Guide Registration.

The bureau has sent the names of four illegal tour agents whose licences were suspended to the Revenue Department for an investigation of their tax payments.

The move is part of department efforts to resolve the problem of zero-dollar tours and their impact on Chinese tourists who are forced to buy goods at higher prices or left abandoned by illegal guides.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul is seriously concerned and has assigned the Tourism Department to oversee tour companies and agents.

It will work closely with the Department of Special Investigation and the Commerce Ministry.

Last year, tourists lodged 300 complaints with the department that they were cheated and forced to buy expensive goods. Most of these tourists were from China.

Sometimes they were left on the roadside if they refused to join optional tours arranged by tour agents.

Apart from Bangkok, other main destinations such as Pattaya and Phuket have a high number of nominee travel agents and tourist fraud cases.

“Our obstacle is we have only a limited number of staff nationwide. In Bangkok, we have only five or six staff to check and supervise tour agents,” Mr Sutham said.

ARCHITECT and HOTELEX

He said he would try to inspect at least one case upcountry per month.

“A lot of money from tourism is in the hands of only some operators, mainly nominee tour companies,” Mr Sutham said.

“Zero-dollar tours have dragged down Thai tourism. We must crack down on nominee operators.”

The department yesterday (Sept 14) issued a ruling to suspend the licence of a tour agent in Bangkokʼs Mengjai area for six months after finding it illegally employed unlicensed Chinese tour guides and tricked tourists into buying optional tours.

Another 25 tour agents are also being investigated, while 24 illegal tour guides have been arrested.

Tour agents can be banned from operating for five years, in accordance with Section 46 of the Tourism Business Act.

Read original story here.

 

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phoenix ‘off limits to outsiders’ while police inspect wreck

In the aftermath of the sinking disaster, it seems that Thailand's now desperate to do anything ...(Read More)


Ban on Loy Kratong lanterns near Phuket International Airport

Actually, about floating kratongs, in de past there were just a few in villages, But now look the ne...(Read More)


Ban on Loy Kratong lanterns near Phuket International Airport

Timi,if you would be a little bit more attentive,you would have seen that my response wasn't reg...(Read More)


Suspect locks up duty warden, escapes police cell

Hahaha, This was not fair! More than 200 people looking after him. Guess that Senior Sgt Maj gets de...(Read More)


Phuket Airport toilets dubbed ’Best in Thailand’

Fantastic to pat yourself on your Phuket toilet business shoulder, true or not. Have no words for it...(Read More)


Suspect locks up duty warden, escapes police cell

You couldn’t make this stuff up could you !! ...(Read More)


Ban on Loy Kratong lanterns near Phuket International Airport

Dek, my comment was in regards to the article about the flying lanterns not the floating Kratongs, w...(Read More)


Disaster officials warn of heavy rain in Phuket

Again a weather warning? That can't be. The guy from the Phuket Water Authority said that due to...(Read More)


Low water levels at Phuket reservoir spur concerns for drastic water-saving measures

I'm fascinated that "Fascinated" cannot see the relevance between increased tourism an...(Read More)


Ban on Loy Kratong lanterns near Phuket International Airport

Thailand needs to wake up and realize its part of the world and international community, most count...(Read More)