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Thailand Acts Against 'Price-Dumping Tours' to Safeguard Tourism


webfact

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The Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports has launched a decisive effort to combat "Price-dumping Tours," an issue that mirrors the notorious zero-dollar tour model utilised by some Chinese firms with Thai collaborators.

 

This crackdown follows concerns raised directly with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin by Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents.

 

Sisdivachr highlighted how these dubious tour operations could monopolise Thailand’s vital tourism industry, which represents 12% of the nation's GDP. These scams damage the country's reputation and result in significant tax revenue losses for the government.

 

Unscrupulous operators pose as local businesses to lure tourists with enticingly cheap packages but then force them to buy overpriced goods from certain stores, cast a shadow over Thailand’s tourism image and hurt genuine local businesses. Originally targeting Chinese tourists, these scams have now broadened their reach to include Russians and Indians.

 

In response, the Ministry has set up the Joint Operations Centre to address these challenges, in collaboration with five key agencies: the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Department of Business Development, the Department of Special Investigation, the Tourist Police Bureau, and the Immigration Bureau.

 

Over the past six months, the Department of Tourism has ramped up inspections across all major tourist areas, bringing several offenders to justice. Of the more than 30 tour businesses inspected, numerous violations were discovered, resulting in the revocation of licences and the closure of 10 companies.

 

Thai nationals found acting as nominees for these fraudulent operations will face severe penalties, including a five-year ban on running tour businesses and legal repercussions under foreign business operations laws. Both local nominees and their foreign collaborators could face imprisonment.

 

Further action has also been taken against over 10 foreigners illegally operating as unlicensed tour guides. The department plans to continue inspecting suspicious operators and urges the public to report any violations via telephone numbers 02-141-3264 or 02-141-3119.

 

The Thai government is vigorously pursuing policies to invigorate the tourism sector, aiming to generate 3.5 trillion baht in total tourism revenue this year, up from the initial target of 3 trillion baht. These efforts aim to cement Thailand's status as a regional tourism hub and an attractive destination for global tourists.

 

TOP: File photo courtesy: Wikipedia

 

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-- 2024-06-24

 

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People were voicing concerns about this kind of tourism in Chiang Mai, back in the mid aughts (or naughts). Twenty years down the road & they have progressed to a national level. Not that they will do anything but at least problems with Chinese tourism are now talked about. 

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1 hour ago, ChrisY1 said:

I went to a beach that looked just like this.   dozens of crappy speedboats and hundred of Chinese milling about. 

Absolutely insane!...Far too many people...too many boats, not one lifeguard...and dozens of people waddling round in life jackets in 3 feet of water!

Shrimp fishing?

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Thai nationals found acting as nominees for these fraudulent operations will face severe penalties, including a five-year ban on running tour businesses and legal repercussions under foreign business operations laws.

 

is 5 years what they call a severe ban?

i think a lifetime ban would serve as a good dissuasion, not a mere 5 years 

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

Sisdivachr highlighted how these dubious tour operations could monopolise Thailand’s vital tourism industry

 

They are not going to monopolize the industry, and they're not trying to do so. Zero dollar and scam tours are only a niche market, albeit a profitable one. 

 

5 hours ago, webfact said:

These scams damage the country's reputation and result in significant tax revenue losses for the government.

 

5 hours ago, webfact said:

Unscrupulous operators...lure tourists with enticingly cheap packages but then force them to buy overpriced goods from certain stores, cast a shadow over Thailand’s tourism image and hurt genuine local businesses.

 

China has been fighting zero dollar tours for years because they exploit and cheat tourists who don't know what they're getting into. Thailand, on the other hand, doesn't appear to care about the effect on the exploited tourists at all, but only about national image, taxes, and lower profits for local businesses. 

 

5 hours ago, webfact said:

numerous violations were discovered, resulting in the revocation of licences and the closure of 10 companies.

 

Note that all ten scam companies had been licensed by the government. How would a tourist know that a properly licensed firm was not legitimate? How did these companies get licenses in the first place?

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1 hour ago, Pouatchee said:

 

is 5 years what they call a severe ban?

i think a lifetime ban would serve as a good dissuasion, not a mere 5 years 

 

Hold a lottery among the offenders every six months.

 

3rd runner up gets the five year ban.

 

2nd runner up get a ten year ban

 

1st runner up gets a lifetime ban

 

grand prize winner gets the death penalty.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

Thai nationals found acting as nominees for these fraudulent operations will face severe penalties, including a five-year ban on running tour businesses

This kind of penalty never works....names change, proxies found.

 

If the chance of being caught is low and easily circumvented then the penalty must be severe......5 years in prison would stop it....if they really want to stop it.

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