Thai tour guides oppose foreign opposition

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BANGKOK – Thai professional tour guide organizations have issued a statement confirming their stance against the importation of foreign guides to solve a shortage of local and Chinese-speaking guides.

Professional guides argue that there are indeed enough Thai guides who can speak Mandarin to serve Chinese tourists. Acting chairperson of a Thai-Chinese tourist guide club, Thinnakorn Sae Luang later commented that the government should seriously stage a crackdown on tour operators acting as nominees of Chinese businessmen to put an end to the problem of zero dollar tours.

Mr. Thinnakorn said the government’s tourism-related agencies should be reformed so that they can be equipped with knowledge of tourism management methods, while tour guides should play a role in the issue.

According to the Division of Tourism Business and Registration under the Department of Tourism, there were more than 76,000 licensed tour guides in 2016. Around 52,000 of them are general tour guides and 18,000 others are area-specific ones.