He told a gathering yesterday at Phuket Royal City Hotel of all the Immigration senior officers from 19 offices in 14 southern provinces that he would choose leaders on the basis of their skill-sets.
''On Phuket, people must speak English and understand the needs of tourists,'' he said. Lieutenant General Wooti said he had a three ''S'' criteria for staff: a ''service mind, smile and smart.''
Being polite was important, he said.
''When tourists come, the first person the meet is the Immigration officer,'' he said. ''And when they leave, the last person they talk to is the Immigration officer.''
The objective, he said, should be for all officers to try to encourage more than 50 percent of tourists to return to Thailand.
The country's five airport Immigration bureaus and the 55 border posts all needed to meet international standards, he said.
Immigration officers also needed to be aware of other aspects of their role beyond tourism, too, he said.
There were about 2000 foreigners on a blacklist of lawbreaking suspects, he said. He said he hoped to organise a small group to target international lawbreakers and terrorists who might enter Thailand.
Another cause for concern was illegal immigration. Figures for 2009 showed that 226,591 people had crossed into Thailand from Burma at Ranong . . . but only 191,979 people had gone back.
Lieutenant General Wooti has a Ph D and management degree from an Australian university.
Earlier this year, acting Thai Royal Police Chief Police General Pathreep Tanprasert said that the appointment of Lieutenant General Wooti was a sign of the desire to improve the Immigration Bureau to the highest standards.