Author Topic: Tourists the focus is on quality not quantity -Zero-dollar tour groups face ban  (Read 279 times)

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Offline thaiga

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Zero-dollar tour groups face ban

The government is seeking help to curb "zero-dollar", or cheap prepaid, tour groups from departing for Thailand to improve the national image and boost revenue and quality, the government spokesman says.

Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Sunday the government had received many complaints about these tour services and was taking a serious approach to solving the problem.

"We will advise of reasonable tour package prices to countries like China, South Korea, Russia and others where many tour groups originate so that they can check the groups before they depart for Thailand. If their tour package fees are lower than the identified prices, the travel should be banned," the government spokesman said.

The tour service firms that operate "zero-dollar" tour packages subsequently pressure their clients into buying expensive products and services so they can make a profit, he said.

Such companies had about 300 partners in Thailand and the majority of them were actually proxy set-ups. Consequently profits from "zero-dollar" tour services did not remain in Thailand, Maj Gen Sansern said.

About 350 billion baht changed hands annually among operators involved in the unreasonably cheap prepaid tour services which also created the problem of illegal tour guides, monopolised vehicle rental services and the improper behaviour of tourists, he said.

The businesses tarnished Thailand because tourists consider the country as a cheap destination while the government wants to woo quality visitors, Maj Gen Sansern said.

"The prime minister ordered serious solutions to the problem. Information of all zero-dollar tour firms has been gathered. Initially the number of tourist arrivals may drop but the focus is on quality, not quantity," the government spokesman said.

"If the problem is not solved by this government, it will be difficult to do so later because most big Thai operators benefiting from it are close to political groups," Maj Gen Sansern said.

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