PHUKET: A new law by the Government of China that is designed to end what's described as zero-baht tourism will affect Phuket, a meeting heard today.
The law is due to come into effect from October 1, the meeting was told.
Packages were sold in advance and may have been sold for the high season beyond October 1, the day when the new law comes in, said the President of the Thai Hotels Association (Southern Division), Suchart Hirankanokkul.
''It will affect us for sure,'' Khun Suchart said.
The governor said he would organise a meeting with China tour operators as soon as possible to try to gain an idea of what the outcome might be.
There had been many complaints to the Chinese embassy about Phuket, he said. Many tourists said they had paid 2000 yuan, for example, for a package and then were slugged with additional charges on Phuket.
Zero-baht tours, where everything is prepaid, leave Phuket with environmental damage, each tour's garbage, and nothing else to show for it, the meeting heard.
Gathered at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City today were leaders of Phuket's administration in their first meeting since last week's announcement of a joint Department of Special Investigations and Tourism and Sport Ministry push to end tourism crime and scams.
The Crime Crisis Centre to be established on Phuket from August 9 was a hot topic.
At the meeting today were Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud, Vice Governors Dr Sommai Preechasin and Jamleran Tipayapongtada along with representatives from Transport, local police, Customs, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Thai Hotels Association.