The Chinese-speaking tour guides, led by Wanchai Taweeapiradeepitak, held signs in Thai, Chinese and English languages, complaining about, what are, according to them, illegal Chinese-speaking tour guides working across the island, and requesting they get out.
The protesters told Chinese tourists at the entrance to Promthep Cape Viewpoint to be aware of illegal guides who are working in tour groups.
Mr Wanchai said, “The reason we came here is because we are Thai Chinese-speaking tour guides who have legal tour guild licences. Our jobs are now in trouble because these illegal tour guides take our jobs. We do not have jobs from tour companies. There are more than a thousand of us who are in the same trouble.”
Mr Wanchai explained that he knows that there are not many tour companies that hire legal tour guides, but, on the other hand, about 70% - 80% of them hire illegal tour guides from China.
According to Mr Wanchai, these tour companies charge illegal guides B100,000 to be able to work. Thereafter they charge them B5,000 a month as an expense.
“As far as I know there are more than a thousand illegal guides in Phuket. Many of the legal guides are losing their jobs even in a high season.
“We want to warn tourists about illegal tour guilds. They must be aware of illegal guides who might cheat them to buy fake goods or distort and damage history,” Mr Wanchai noted.
“We want government offices including the prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to help us solve the problem. The government should be strict and take action on tour companies who hire these illegal guides,” he added.
The protesters have vowed to continue to protest and warn tourists at Promthep Cape until the problem is solved or until they got more jobs.