On 8th July 2012, at Phuket Hall, Dr.Sommai Prechasilp – Deputy Governor of Phuket presided over a meeting ‘Phuket Guide Solution Board 2012’. The meeting was attended by Pol.Col.Chalit Thinthanee – Deputy Police Commander, Mr.Jakkapong Engchuan – Phuket Tourism and Sports Office, Mr.Noppadol Arwutthammaprecha – Bureau of Tourism Business and Guide Registration Southern Region Branch 2, Mr.Panompol Thammachatniyom – Association of Phuket Guides, Mr.Sarayut Mullump – Phuket Tourist Association, Tourist Police, Phuket Revenue Office, Phuket Labour Office.
The meeting was held to discuss the issue regarding the growing number of illegal Korean and Russian guides, a job specifically allocated to Thai nationals only, and who are therefore breaking Thai Labor laws. Mr.Panompol said “These guides may have been needed about 10 years ago, but there are now enough Thai guides that can speak good Korean. The problem is that the Korean tourist companies still hire Korean people.
Mr.Salayut added “The companies do this because of the profit and commission they get from some places in their trips. The problem cannot be controlled because some departments get something from the company”
The Phuket Office of Tourism and Sports has now been assigned to head a team to go out and arrest illegal guides in undercover operations. They are also to set up a meeting with the tourist companies to reiterate to them about Thai law and ensure they cooperate and operate within the law.