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The ''tourism crisis'' meeting gets underway in Phuket City today

Phuket 'Likely to Be Affected by New China Zero Baht Tours Law'

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Brave Enough to Change Phuket

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.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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What is said piece of legal shenanigans? Beofre I jump the gun, no doubt it has nothing at all to do with actually fixing the many ills Phuket has

Posted by eezergood on July 30, 2013 11:32

Editor Comment:

You'll have to wait for our next LIVE update.

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And what does this law entail?

Without any more information this is a non story.

Posted by stevenl on July 30, 2013 11:37

Editor Comment:

We're bringing the meeting to you as fast as we can, stevenl. Perhaps too fast for you.

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"We're bringing the meeting to you as fast as we can, stevenl. Perhaps too fast for you."
If you got nothing to say you're better of saying nothing at all.

Posted by stevenl on July 30, 2013 12:32

Editor Comment:

You said, it stevenl. How about sticking by that?

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If the subject is the Chinese outlawing zero baht tourism, would it not seem prudent to tell us what that is? Or does this simply state the obvious: no one will have free holidays in Thailand? Story seems lacking in subject matter, or is that just me?

Posted by Tim on July 30, 2013 17:16

Editor Comment:

Try it now, Tim. We were updating the story LIVE

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Zero baht tours are a convenient myth.
Thai hotels are used.
Thai supplied food is eaten.
Thai transport is used.
711's definitely make a buck, so do the souvenir warehouses.

You may not like package holidays, but, it has enabled thousands of not so well off people to see the world beyond their borders that may have not been able without them.

Posted by sir burr on July 30, 2013 17:46

Editor Comment:

How odd, then, that Thai authorities say it delivers so little to Thailand, sir burr. I didn't realise there was this altruistic side to your outlook/

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I agree, these packaged tours are supposed to be not unlike the all inclusive resorts in Mexico, or should be, something so that you can say ok, I can afford this, and do something you normally could not, a good selling gimmick if its honest, at least for return business if they are interested in that. I think what the Chinese are saying is that their operators are scamming the package buyers, or the people on this end are not living up to their promises because of all the price chopping entailed to meet what the tour operators says they need to be able to out sell their competition and grab the most victims. The Chinese want this to stop and the best way for that is to outlaw the game plan.

Posted by Tim on July 30, 2013 19:28

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What the chinese are trying to ban is the selling of tour packages that obviously are being sold at a loss. The chinese tourists are then "obliged" or even forced to buy optional tours, shop at certain places and so on. The law has NOTHING to do with what is called Zero Baht tourism here.The law will force tour operators to charge the customers the actual cost of the package and make their profits that way instead of by harassing the tourists during their holiday. This will mean LESS shopping and not more. Actually it will probably mean less money spent in Thailand since the tourist will have paid the full amount at home to their tour operator.

Posted by christian on July 30, 2013 22:34


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