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Phuket tourism swindlers in the cross-hairs

Foreign diplomats were scheduled to meet the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Chumpol Silpa-archa, today (March 2), to discuss ways to crack down on tourist swindles, mainly in Phuket.

Friday 2 March 2012, 04:10PM

Ministry spokesperson, Watchara Kannikar, said the Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Thailand and the ambassadors of six other countries – Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands – are scheduled to meet with Minister Chumpol to brainstorm solutions.

The main concern is the mafia-style scams and swindles that are marring Phuket’s image as a tourist destination.
The minister admitted that swindles in Phuket were an international issue which called for immediate action.

“The most common rip-off involves overpricing or low-quality products, low-standard services, and exaggerated damage claims on broken items,” Mr Chumpol said.

Illegal tour guides, particularly from Russia and South Korea, unlawful taxi drivers and an oversupply of jet skis are on the complaints list.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports says it will blacklist jewellery shops that sell low-quality items at inflated prices.
The names of shops that are guilty of scamming tourists will be posted on the website of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports as well as that of the Department of Tourism.

“The Tourism Authority of Thailand has also been told to inform its overseas offices regarding this
issue,” the minister said.



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