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Phuket Greets, Meets New Immigration Chief

Phuket Greets, Meets New Immigration Chief

Sunday, December 13, 2009
THAILAND'S NEW Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, Lieutenant General Wooti Lippatapanlop, has paid his first visit to Phuket to gee up the staff.

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.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Well, I am traveling in and out of Thailand for 15 years now, by air (BKK, HKT, CNX) and land (Nong Khai, Mae Sai, Ranong, Satun, Pedang Besar). Just once I had a unpleasant moment, this was in Pedang Besar when I left for a roundtrip in Malaysia. My name was not in the Immigration computer which meant trouble. I suggested to the officer politely to change the order of first and last name and voila! there it was. We both had to laugh about this. I must say, I am happy with the staff at the immigration points and I hope it will be like that in the future.

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on December 13, 2009 15:37


My last visit to Phuket immigration was any thing but friendly -- same as arriving at the airport here or in Bangkok -- hardly the Land of Smiles!

Posted by Roland on December 14, 2009 12:34

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