The announcement came at a meeting held by Phuket Vice Governor Snith Sriwihok held at Phuket Provincial Hall at 1:30pm yesterday (Dec 25) and attended by officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Phuket office, Phuket Tourist Police, Andaman Guide Association, Professional Tourist Guide Association, Yunan Chinese Language Guide Association, tour guides and representatives from the local conservation group Go-Eco Phuket.
V/Gov Snith concluded that a meeting be set up with relevant offices including law offices, tour operators and tour guides as well as educational offices where tour guides gain their qualifications in order to make sure that they follow the law.
“Officials must strongly enforce the law and take action against any illegal tour guides found working in Phuket,” said V/Gov Snith.
In addition, we request that legal tour guides also take responsibility in keeping an eye out for any illegal tour guides and that they report any such findings immediately,” he added.
Yesterday’s meeting came after a Chinese man was arrested on Sunday (Dec 24) for working illegally in Thailand as a tour guide at Ao Po Pier in Pa Khlok. (See story here.)
It also follows more than 30 Phuket tour guides who are members of the Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand protesting at Promthep Cape last Thursday (Dec 21), furious at the rapidly increasing numbers of illegal Chinese tour guides on the island.
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. (See story here.)