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Phuket tourism businesses face huge ‘collateral’ hikes

PHUKET: The security deposits required by the government from all tourism businesses will undergo huge rises following increasing complaints that the payouts made for tourism companies causing death, injury, cheating, defaulting on services or otherwise defrauding tourists are far outstripping the deposits held by the Department of Tourism.

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By Chanida Summast

Saturday 23 July 2016, 09:00AM


A spike in the complaints of tour companies involved in deaths, injuries or cheating of tourists has prompted the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office to dramatically increase the ‘collateral’ deposits required from tourism businesses before the year’s end.

A spike in the complaints of tour companies involved in deaths, injuries or cheating of tourists has prompted the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office to dramatically increase the ‘collateral’ deposits required from tourism businesses before the year’s end.

The security deposits, called “Collateral”, are collected by the Bureau of Tourism Business and Guide Registration and will see sweeping increases introduced before the end of the year, said Pattara Lamultree, a legal official at the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office in Phuket.

“All tourism businesses will be affected,” he said. “The new fees and amounts to be held as collateral were set at a meeting on July 14. They are expected to be ratified next month and brought into effect after a period of 120 days.”

Companies operating tours outbound from Thailand will see their collateral deposits rise from B200,000 to B2 million, while companies bringing tourists into Thailand will be required to submit B1 million as collateral instead of the B100,000 required now, Mr Pattara explained.

Companies operating domestic tours within Thailand will see their collateral deposits rise from B50,000 to B200,000, he added.

Many companies have caused damage to tourism and we have to pay more,” Mr Pattara said. “For example, one company took a lot of bookings for tours to Japan, but the company shut down and the operators fled with the money.

The government had to pay B4 million in refunds to the people who had booked tours with them,” he said.

The Department of Tourism will take the current review as an opportunity to increase all fees levied by the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office. The fees have not budged since the office was formed in 2008, Mr Pattara noted.

“All fees will increase, including applications to register new tourism businesses and applications to register as a guide,” he said.

“Also, fees for two-year renewals of tourism business registrations will increase and the Department of Tourism will introduce the requirement for all guides to undergo a test in order for their guide licences to be renewed,” he said.

Current fees are set at B500 to register or renew a license for an outbound or inbound tourism business, and B300 to register or renew a domestic tourism business.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 24 July 2016 - 08:28:38

A govt propping up poor business practices is never a good idea and certainly does not belong in a free market atmosphere. If consumers are ripped off let that protection agency assist them, then maybe the court system would be forced to alleviate backlogs instead of the govt propping up that poor system, too.

Kurt | 23 July 2016 - 21:05:28

Mhh, will things change really?
New standards with the same thai people? I don't think so.
..."this is the way we do it".. will continue...  TIT.

Guess more illegal/escape doings are popping up.
More envelops change hands. That is the objective.

simon01 | 23 July 2016 - 16:23:04

Well then its better to improve the standards rather than just keep penalizing the already collapsing tour industry. All the good safe companies will be penalized to pay for all the bad ones. All this will achive is all the good companies will leave to places where good standards are accepted and rewarded rather than penalized. Far better to just improve the standards then just kill off whats left...

slippery snake | 23 July 2016 - 12:21:08

serves these companys right, maybe if the tour guides, either on buses or boats need to be a hell of a lot more professional, and not on drugs or half drunk..  sure make them pay big money for the deaths they cause,  maybe then they will wake up and do something to improve their standards....  

Asterix | 23 July 2016 - 11:03:58

This will be the great mess at the end of the year as Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office will increase the security deposit required to get a TAT licence without forgetting that we may have to renew all official documents to get it (TAT Guide licence, list of shareholders, Thai Directors, travel insurances, and so on ...).

Besides, the TAT could apply to increase the coverage of the...

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