Law modification stirs anxiousness

Regional tour operators are concerned about the possible impact of a legal change that would set a minimum rate for tour services.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry will propose the modification to the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Act for legal treatments in the coming month. More information can be availed onĀ

The primary change is to Article 31, which would bar tour operators in Thailand from supplying services to foreign tourists without charge and set a minimum cost.

The objective of the modification is to solve the “zero-dollar trip” issue, particularly with Chinese travelers.

Charoen Wangananont, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), stated setting a minimum price for package tours is tough because they vary to suit different traveler demands.

Around 100 ATTA members fulfilled to go over the possible effect from the change of the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Act if it ends up being reliable in the coming months.

Mr. Charoen said Thailand would be the very first nation on the planet to set a minimum tour package rate.

“Pricing is a sensitive problem and ATTA expects the rates control will impact our business partners, especially from China,” he said.

If the goal of the amendment is to fix the zero-dollar trip and kickback problems, the problem about rates control is just small, he stated.

The zero-dollar trip issue is more made complex as it includes illegal tour guides and trip candidates.

“We don’t think the legal amendment is practical. It’s difficult to implement,” Mr. Charoen stated.

However, the Tourism Department highly believes the modification will be useful and should solve issues associated with zero-dollar tours because the existing law just restricts tour business from supplying …

According to Tourism Department director-general Wannasiri Morakul, tour operators said charges vary according to markets and aspects consisting of details of journeys and services.

After the law modification is published in the Royal Gazette, natural laws will be drafted with revisions every 2 years to catch up with changes in the tourism industry.

They will specify very little trip charges categorized by 5 regions and monetary conditions. The new act will govern both inbound and outbound trip services and set clear fee standards.

ATTA vice-president Surawat Akaraworamat stated the change will work for the tourism market but some operators might not be satisfied because they are concerned their business will be impacted, particularly …

“The increase of Chinese travelers, even though low-grade package tours, has generated a great deal of income,” he stated. “But we must think about their effect on our natural deposits. Is it beneficial for more…?