Col Eakkrit Virayapap of the Phuket Tourist Police led a team of 30 officers along with Artipong Sangsil, Registrar at the Bureau of Tourism Business and Guide Registration (Southern Region 2), to conduct inspections within Wichit and Muang district following a large number of complaints made to the Department of Tourism about the exploitation of Chinese tourists by companies in those areas.
Mr Artipong said, “There are approximately 20,000 companies in Phuket that target tourists. Today (Apr 10) we inspected only those that target Chinese tourists and at future dates, we will inspect those that cater to tourists of other nationalities as well.
“We are checking that businesses and tour operators are not exploiting tourists through unfair pricing and poor standards,” he explained.
Mr Artipong highlighted that the inspections were focussed on ‘zero baht tours’ in which tourists, particularly Chinese, are sold packaged tours at very low prices and are then taken to many selected stores where they are sold overpriced goods.
“The Department Of Tourism is keeping a close eye on tourism companies and will protect tourists from exploitation as well as making sure that standards are high,” Mr Artipong said.
“This will ensure that tourists return to Phuket.”
Mr Artipong confirmed that during the inspections on Wednesday no malpractice was found.