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Volunteer Phuket Expats Sign On in Numbers for Tourism and Sports Special Unit

Sunday, October 26, 2014
PHUKET: More than 50 expats have volunteered to join a new team that will help Phuket to better care for tourists and enforce rules governing guides and tour companies.

The expats joined 120 resident locals in a two-day seminar at the Patong Beach Resort that was to conclude today with the presentation of t-shirts and caps for the Voluntary Tourists' Protection unit.

The call for volunteers was made earlier this month by Santi Pawai, chief of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports office on Phuket, who was recently also given the role of Director of the Business and Guide Registration Branch.

Khun Santi quickly learned that many of the rules governing tour companies and guides had never been enforced. His aim is to better protect tourists by ensuring that the rules are obeyed.

''We have some ideas on how to make sure that the safety and security of tourists is a priority,'' said Khun Santi, who aims to use some of the volunteers in undercover operations to flush out illegal guides.

''We will maintain the skills of those who have qualified over the past couple of days by holding regular six-monthly seminars.''

The unit's hq will be at the Tourism and Sports base at Surakul Stadium in Maeluan Road, Phuket City.

Comments

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Good, I hope they flush out the companies on TripAdvisor that have been flauting the rules with illegal guides, work permit violations, illegal or no company, no insurance, and those with improper or missing TAT licenses.

Happy hunting!

Posted by Tyler on October 26, 2014 12:30

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Wow, more than 50. I am surprised that that many expats with work permits have the time to volunteer to help out in this Special Unit.

Posted by Scudman on October 26, 2014 16:09

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Dozens of civil servants, Tourist Protection Unit's Volunteers, Tourist Police Officers and Thai Army Men should check all tour guides and companies including dive centers and all freelance Instructors who have been 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.

We hope they will do the crackdown on all coastal provinces along the Andaman Sea; other-way, foreigners will move to other provinces to avoid to be arrested and that will not stop them to work bookings through their Facebook pages and websites.

Many freelance diving Instructors are looking for customers and book dive tours through Facebook pages and websites but do not have a TAT license or may have a TAT license but in fact those dive companies do not have TAT registered tour guides working for the companies full time.

Many TAT registered guides sign the official TAT application forms to valid the TAT licenses only for money; but are in fact true Thai nominees or sitting-guides which is illegal.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on October 26, 2014 16:54


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