MONDAY, April 15, 2024
nationthailand

Thai tour guides up in arms over Chinese guides ‘stealing’ their jobs

Thai tour guides up in arms over Chinese guides ‘stealing’ their jobs

The Professional Tourist Guides Association of Thailand is calling on the government to prevent Chinese tourist guides from “stealing” jobs from Thai tour guides.

Paisal Suethanuwong, an executive member of the association, said on Saturday that complaints from individual members about a rising number of Chinese guides working illegally in Thailand had fallen on deaf ears.

Chinese tourists have been returning to Thailand in great numbers since January, but most of the guides benefitting from this are foreign nationals working illegally here, he said.

Tour operators – mostly Chinese owned – say they need to hire foreign nationals due to a shortage of Chinese-speaking guides in Thailand, but licensed Chinese-speaking members of the association are still looking for work, he said.

They have submitted complaints to a number of state agencies asking them to do something about illegal guides “stealing” their jobs but no action has been taken, Paisal said.

Thai tour guides up in arms over Chinese guides ‘stealing’ their jobs

Association members agreed at a meeting on Saturday to deliver a complaint to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and the Ministry of Labour.

The complaint will ask them to work together to stop illegal tour guides from working in Thailand, Paisal said.

“Grey Chinese businesses” started importing unlicensed guides in October last year, after Thailand fully reopened to foreign tourists, he said.

Licensed tour guides suffered tremendously during the Covid-19 pandemic when there were almost no Chinese tourists, and many had to find other jobs in order to survive, Paisal said.

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