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Santi Pawai, who has begun the task of legitimising Phuket's tourism guides

Phuket's Illegal Guides Face Arrest as Police Training Begins for Crackdown

Saturday, September 20, 2014
PHUKET: All guides on Phuket are required to register before a crackdown begins that is designed to end the activities of illegal guides on the island, a meeting heard yesterday.

The guides - about 2000 of more than 4000 guides are foreigners - will have to register before October 6 or face arrest, said Santi Pawai, chief of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports office on Phuket, who recently was given the role of Director of the Business and Guide Registration Branch.

He is opting to create a database and at the same time training all police on Phuket for a crackdown that will equip them with the skills that officers need to detect and arrest illegal guides.

Royal Thai Navy Captain Pornpom Sakultem told the meeting at the Tourism and Sports office on Phuket: ''From Monday, officers from the island's 10 police stations will begin training.''

''Tour leaders'' and so-called ''sitting guides'' will be among those targetted for arrest, the meeting heard.

Resorts with illegal tour counters and illegal time-share sales desks will be included in the crackdown.

Khun Santi, who was surprised on taking over his new role to learn that there had never been a serious effort to register guides on Phuket, is following the technique of the Phuket Land Transport Department where officials discovered several years ago that hundreds of illegal taxi drivers were operating alongside legal taxi drivers.

After obliging all drivers to register, the Land Transport Department was in a position to move against illegal drivers.

The situation with guides and illegal tour counters appears to be similar and a crackdown will follow as soon as registration has been completed.

The offices of Tourism and Sport on Phuket, where guides can register, is at the Surakul Stadium in Maeluan Road, Phuket City.

Comments

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Good riddance to farang time share touts. If you have ever sat through one or two of the torturous sessions with them - you will know what I mean.

Once they get through with bragging about their young Thai girlfriends - it's a slimy act - unless it's changed from last year.

Posted by farang888 on September 21, 2014 01:50

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I wouldn't entertain the time share touts (thugs). They are brash & aggressive, relying on intimidating surprised or unsuspecting tourists. I overheard a bunch of them in a bar in Nanai Road one afternoon bragging loudly about their exploits - they only need a few gullible idiots to earn their keep.

Posted by Logic on September 21, 2014 07:27

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Almost all of the high end speedboat tours use sitting guides to cover for either the owners or other foreigners acting as the real guides once the boat leaves the marina. It will be difficult to end this practice unless the police join a tour undercover. Perhaps the Tourist Police can assist in the investigations.

Posted by Tyler on September 21, 2014 07:56

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I had a time share tout living opposite me when we lived in Chalong
He told me his company paid tea money every month and if stopped they only had to mention their companys name and they carried on with what they were doing
Probably just time share tout B/S

Posted by Peter Allen on September 21, 2014 10:10

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They should investigate all tour companies including dive centers and freelance Instructors setting up their own Limited Partnerships to check if they have:
1/- A paid-up registered capital of no less than 2 million Baht (Bank account, dive equipment, office equipment, car, etc...in the company name).
2/- A ratio of one alien employee per four permanent Thai employees.
3/- The Thai partners owning the 51% of shareholders (70% in case the company own a tour boat) and Thai company director(s) are genuine Thai investors/partners or just Thai nominees as it is the case in most Thai companies owned by foreigners.
4/- Those companies with websites, FaceBook pages or owning a tour boat, will need in extra to employ full-time a TAT licensed tour guide.

Many freelance foreign Instructors book tours with Facebook pages and websites but do not have a TAT license or have a TAT license but those dive companies do not have TAT registered tour guides working for the companies as some TAT registered guides sign the TAT applications to valid the TAT licenses only for money but are in fact Thai nominees or sitting-guides which is illegal.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on September 21, 2014 10:46

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Lets rail against farang timeshare touts - lol

But really - has anyone ever got the "reward"?? the touts give out at the end of the exhausting spiel-you know - a 500 baht per hour Thai massage in Patong - at a "special price of 300 baht" per hour lol

I threw away the chit - and got a 2 hour massage from the blind around Ban Borae for 250 baht - including a 20 baht tip..

Notice how the time share touts "gang up" on the hapless victims once in their orifice ( I mean office )??

Signed,

The (farang) orifices in their "offices" - waiting like preying mantises - to entice more hapless farang victims - into their web of deceit..

Posted by farang888 on September 21, 2014 23:10

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Today, it is 06 October, so the crackdown on illegal guides suppose to start. Poor Russian, Chinese and Korean tourists who from now on just get official thai guides, many of them not master foreign languages.

Posted by Kurt on October 6, 2014 15:20

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So far no news regarding ..illegal guide crackdown... I gues the thai authorities by now realize that the official thai tour guides are language wise simply not equipped to serve Chinese, Korean and Indian tourists on a tour bus. Perhaps this becomes a matter to meet in de middle ( as thai call it). For Phuket tourism it would be wise to deal with a exemption system for Chinese, Korean and Indian tour guides. Anyway, AEC-2015 is at the horizon. Thailand can start to relax now a bit on workers from other AEC member countries.

Posted by Kurt on October 7, 2014 09:58

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This very moment there are still many illegal tour guides on Phuket ( they just pay a bit more tea money, and every body is happy). Must be ok, as Khun Santi is very quiet, we not hear from him. anymore about crack down.

Posted by Kurt on October 15, 2014 13:36

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Whilst I understood the "scam" nature of the time share operators. I wanted to see it at work..

The lure is an instant win scratch card with very few attractive prizes (iPad, iPhone, 20,000Baht) and some lesser prizes.. Naturally you would think you were in with a chance of winning a big one...not so..

The free return taxi from Kata Beach to Patong was good it saved us 800 Baht..a small win to start. And we got to see Patong Beach...

The promise of only 90mins in their office/resort at Patong Bay ran into over two hours of intensive questioning pressure including listening to their long winded personal story.

We were virtual prisoners whilst every selling approach was applied from a personal asset acquisition to a family benefit right on down to selling the share weeks and profiting from our friends and others..in their world this is the icing on the cake.

After finally rebelling and demanding to know the bottom line we were reluctantly told ($20k) Then again, demanding to know, the prize was revealed, naturally it was not anything of real worth.. A weeks holiday it their resort but requiring US$100 up front to book...

Apart from the wasting of our time it was quite an educative process...

My only concern was that they were able to get my personal information i.e. date of birth.. This could only have been obtained from our Hotel ?




Whilst I understood the "scam" nature of the time share operators. I wanted to see it at work..

The lure is an instant win scratch card with very few attractive prizes (iPad, iPhone, 20,000Baht) and some lesser prizes.. Naturally you would think you were in with a chance of winning a big one...not so..

The free return taxi from Kata Beach to Patong was good it saved us 800 Baht..a small win to start. And we got to see Patong Beach...

The promise of only 90mins in their office/resort at Patong Bay ran into over two hours of intensive questioning pressure including listening to their long winded personal story.

We were virtual prisoners whilst every selling approach was applied from a personal asset acquisition to a family benefit right on down to selling the share weeks and profiting from our friends and others..in their world this is the icing on the cake.

Apart from the wasting of our time it was quite an educative process...

Posted by Anonymous on November 11, 2014 09:56


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