For people that travel to Phuket, there’s more than just staying at a hotel like the boutique hotel in Phuket, there’s also touring the island. To that end, people turn to tour guides in the area, in order to see what’s worth seeing on the island.
However, people staying in a boutique hotel in Phuket need to take care, as there are illegal tour guides operating in the island, and the legitimate operators have had enough.
About 100 Phuket tour guides headed to the Phuket Provincial City Hall to protest, as well as to hand a letter to Vice Governor Tanyawat Chanpinit, pleading for someone to deal with the matter in a fair manner.
President of the Andaman Tour Guide Association, Krit Thepbamrung, led the protesters, saying that they have not received fairness from the government. He says that they are asking the government to take action against the illegal foreign tour guides operating in the island, stealing jobs from the locals.
According to Thepbamrung, the problem’s been around for at least a decade now, free to continue due in part to the fact that government officers only check on the legal Thai tour guides, not paying much attention to the illegal ones.
Thepbamrung says that the latest legislation, which will require tour guide licenses from the Department of National Park Wildlife and Conservation in order to operate in Phuket’s marine national parks, is just redundant. He says that the legislation, which will be set for enforcement by 2020, won’t really help, as legal tour guides already have the training needed for such a license as part of their requirements.
The Phuket provincial government, Thepbamrung explains, need to review the new rules that have been put in place at the Phuket International Airport. These rules were implemented in order to control and verify the activity of legal tour guides, which undergo checking at the Airport’s inside zone, accompanied by raised signs in order to take customers. He says that the illegal tour guides operating on the island can easily enter that zone and hide amidst the legal operators.