Thai tourism is entering a new and better phase in reformation. The Governmet has vowed to purge Thailand of “zero-dollar tours.” This is a strong stance by Thai PM, Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, as he looks to reshape Thai toursim by eradicating of “zero-dollar tours” and other such illegal operators.
“Zero-dollar tour” is a packaged tour priced below cost in order to lure foreigners and budget travelers, mostly Chinese tourists, with better incentives to holiday in Thailand. Once here, the illegal tour guides will take them shopping at affilated souvenir outlets who charge them ourageous prices and take them to obscene shows for profits. When tourists refuse to comply or spend less than expectations the illegal guides will usually threaten and ultimately neglect the tourists groups. In some cases abuse have been reported.
For these reasons, the Chinese Government has commended the Thai counterpart in its efforts to crack down on the activities surrounding the “zero-dollar tours.” Special praises has been reserved from the Chinese tourism sector as they see the “zero-dollar tours” as a negative impact on its service industries.
Mr. Wang Tinpan, the South-west Asia Marketing Manager of Ctrip.com, the well known complete tourism service operator in China, expressed his view with Chinese media. He said that Ctrip.com has not been effected by the “zero-dollar tours” and its reputation is still intact. The Thailand holiday tourists still trust its services since Ctrip.com has always priced their packaged tours fairly and by standard regulations. The efforts in Thailand to eradicate “zero-dollar tours” is of no concerns to the company since Ctrip.com has never operated such illegal service.
Mr. Sue Shienzhen, the former Xinhua reporter in Thailand, revealed that China is very committed to solving the “zero-dollar tours” services. Back in 2014, the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in Thailand invited Thai Sports and Toursim officails, Thai Tourism Police Divisions and the Thai-China Tour Operator Association to a conference regarding the solutuions to the “zero-dollar tours.”
Mr. Sue Shienzhen continued to stress the scope with which the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in Thailand has place on the importance of the issue by submitting an open letter to related government agencies and Thai tour service operators. It is hoped the Thai Government and the general tour operators will cooperate with Chinese tour service providers in defusing the situation and apprehend illegal guides.
Thailand and China has agreed to publish standardized prices for main tourist attractions in Thailand as a guideline for Chinese travelers looking to holiday in Thailand. Furthermore, Thai Tourism Authority and China Tourism Authority will recommend certified and reliable tour agencies as another option.
As reported from China, the Thai Government efforts to eradicate the “zero-dollar tours” will promote good-will and relations between the two countries and ensure a continue trust from the Chinese tourists to holiday in Thailand.