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Stop cheating tourists: Call from Europe

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Diplomats from 18 European countries come to Phuket & ask govt officials to stop allowing tourists to be cheated. Govt mission to China apologizes for cheating Chinese tourists. 



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EDITORIAL

Time to tame tourist scams

26/06/2013

It is a certainty, proved many times over, that where tourists gather, con artists show up. Holidaymakers have more money to dispose of, in a shorter time, than almost any group. They are out for enjoyment, and forget their own security. And there is a good chance they will leave quickly, providing a reason - or excuse- for authorities to overlook crimes against them.

As Phuket found out last week, such classic examples of fiddling while Rome burns bring consequences. Senior diplomats from 18 European countries descended on Phuket with the single aim of criticising and shaming the government and every official and policeman in the island province for allowing tourist scams and robberies to get so out of hand. Australia joined the critical chorus, and it seems Pattaya is about to get the same, understandable disapproval. Bangkok might be next on the list.

Shotgun pulled on some jet ski scam victims.

Authorities deserve every word of it. In some tourist centres, visitors are treated more like prey than guests. Infamous scams make a long list. The temple jewellery flim-flam, the damaged jet-ski shakedown and the songthaew strong arm are the most obnoxious stories going around the world.

Authorities have become dangerously close to the crimes. YouTube videos show Pattaya police colluding with jet-ski operators in the process of intimidating and robbing foreigners. In Phuket, police openly refuse to enforce the law against swindlers. Taxis and jet-skis are obvious centres of cheating, but fraud and violent bullying exist in a wide range of businesses, from real estate sales to the jewellery business.

At the top of the political chain, new Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak was informed of a blatant scam targeting Chinese tourists, called "zero-dollar tours". It offers the mythical "free lunch", after which tourists by the bus load are put into the hands of high-pressure salesmen of junk and overpriced goods. Incredibly, instead of meeting this deceptive cheating head-on, Mr Somsak flew to Beijing to try to placate angry Chinese officials and tourist operators. While he was away, and after he returned, the confidence game continued to flourish.

Mr Somsak, then, bears a particular responsibility in this shady, shameful business. Not only is he the minister responsible, but he is fully aware of one of the worst anti-tourist confidence games being run in the country. He must be held accountable for any further lack of action, and complaints by Chinese tourists and authorities alike.

That is because cheating tourists has, indeed, become a business. It is a dirty, mostly illegal, always unethical, and inarguably harmful business. But it has become a subsidiary of the tourist industry. Like other filthy businesses such as drug trafficking, cheating tourists is without redeeming value. Arguing that cheating visitors gives employment and income is no different from supporting the dirty profits of human trafficking or drug smuggling

Beating the cheats and re-establishing security is not just desirable - it is mandatory. A reputation lost can never be regained. More is at stake than just the huge tourist industry and its millions of jobs. Cheating tourists is bad business for the entire country, and it needs to stop quickly

(Source: Bangkok Post, EDITORIAL, Time to tame tourist scams, 26/06/2013, link)


Tourism Safety Vocabulary

scam -  a dishonest plan to get money; lieing to and cheating people to get money from people เล่ห์อุบาย, แผนการร้าย
scammer
- ผู้ที่มีความเจ้าเลห์สูง
tourist scams

jet ski -
a fast vehicle like a motorcycle that you ride in the water เจ็ตสกี (See Wikipedia)

jet ski scams - scams at Phuket and Pattaya beaches in which scammers would cheat tourists out of money by claiming they damaged the jet ski they rented (See article & YouTube)

swindle (verb) - to cheat someone to get their money, cheat and trick someone out of their money โกง, หลอกลวง, ฉ้อโกง
swindler (noun) - a person who cheats people to get their money

con - Same as "swindle"
con game -
a plan to cheat people out of money
con artists - people who run con games

confidence - trusting and believing in something ความมั่นใจ ความเชื่อมั่น
confidence game - Same as "con game"

tame - 1. make a wild animal from the jungle, not wild anymore; 2. not wild or fierce, either naturally or because of training or long involvement with humans เชื่อง (สัตว์)

tame tourist scams - to end or reduce tourist scams
time to tame tourist scams - meaning: we should stop tourist scams now

prove - to show that something is true พิสูจน์
proved many times over - to show that something is true many times

show up - appear
con artists show up.

certainty - for sure ความแน่นอน,  ความแน่ใจ,  สิ่งที่แน่นอน

It is a certainty, proved many times over, that where tourists gather, con artists show up.

holidaymakers -
tourists, vacationers, people traveling on a holiday or vacation นักท่องเที่ยว

dispose of -
use
dispose of money
money to
dispose of

Holidaymakers
have more money to dispose of, in a shorter time, than almost any group.

security - the activity of making yourself safe or protecting from harm ความปลอดภัย

Tourists are out for enjoyment, and forget their own security.

chance - what happens when you don't control events (example: gambling = games of chance)

authorities - government officials เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)่ ผู้มีอำนาจของรัฐ 
overlook - do not see or understand something important มองพลาด, มองไม่เห็น, เพิกเฉย

a good chance... - likely to happen ...

reason - an explanation of an event, why an event happened เหตุ ; เหตุผล ; สาเหตุ
providing a reason

And there is a good chance tourists will leave quickly, providing a reason - or excuse- for authorities to overlook crimes against them.

classic examples - important examples of something
fiddling while Rome burns - meaning: not acting quickly enough in an emergency
consequences - results of actions or events; the things that happen as a result of a decision or event

classic examples of fiddling while Rome burns bring consequences

As Phuket found out last week, such classic examples of fiddling while Rome burns bring consequences.

diplomat - a person representing their country in a foreign country นักการทูต
senior diplomats - diplomats with a high rank, at a high level
senior diplomats from 18 European countries

single - one only
aim - purpose; goal เป้าหมาย จุดมุ่งหมาย
single aim

criticise (verb) - find fault with, blame, point out the things that are bad or wrong ตำหนิ
shame -
ทำให้อับอาย, ทำให้ขายหน้า

descended on - came to

descended on Phuket with the single aim of criticising and shaming the government

robbery - the crime of taking money or property illegally, usually by threat or violence  การปล้น
get out of hand - when situation goes out of control
allowing tourist scams and robberies to get so out of hand

Senior diplomats from 18 European countries descended on Phuket with the single aim of criticising and shaming the government and every official and policeman in the island province for allowing tourist scams and robberies to get so out of hand.

critical (adjective) - saying that someone or something is bad or wrong ที่ชอบจับผิด
critical chorus - many people who are criticizing something at the same time
joined the critical chorus

disapproval - not liking or accepting something ความไม่เห็นด้วย, ความไม่ชอบ,  การไม่ยอมรับ

Australia joined the critical chorus, and it seems Pattaya is about to get the same, understandable disapproval. Bangkok might be next on the list.

deserve - when people should get something or have something happen to them; when it is right สมควรได้รับ (example: the murderer deserved to die)
authorities deserve every word of it.

prey - a hunted animal เหยื่อ, สิ่งมีชีวิตที่ถูกสิ่งมีชีวิตอื่นล่ากินเป็นอาหาร

In some tourist centres, visitors are treated more like prey than guests.

infamous
- famous in a bad sort of way,  notorious น่าอับอาย,  น่าขายหน้า
infamous scams
infamous scams make a long list

flim-flam - a plan to steal from or cheat someone
shakedown - using threats that you will hurt someone to get money from them
strong arm - to use force or threats to make a person do something
obnoxious - very unpleasant or rude น่ารังเกียจ

The temple jewellery flim-flam, the damaged jet-ski shakedown and the songthaew strong arm are the most obnoxious stories going around the world.

collude - work together with other people to do something bad, conspire, connive  สมรู้ร่วมคิด
colluding with

operators - companies or people doing some business
jet-ski operators

process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
in the process of intimidating and robbing foreigners

Authorities have become dangerously close to the crimes. YouTube videos show Pattaya police colluding with jet-ski operators in the process of intimidating and robbing foreigners.

enforce - to make sure laws are obeyed
enforce the law

openly - doing in way that everyone can see, not hiding
openly refuse to enforce the law

In Phuket, police openly refuse to enforce the law against swindlers.

obvious - clear; easy to see, recognise or understand ชัดเจน
obvious cheating

fraud - the crime of tricking and lieing people in order to get money การปลอมแปลง ารฉ้อโกง การหลอกลวง เล่ห์เพทุบาย (See Wikipedia)

violent - involving the use of physical force, with the intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people รุนแรง
bullying - using your your strength and power to frighten other people and make them do what you want
violent bullying

range - a number of different things that are of the same general type ขอบข่าย, ประเภท
wide range - including many different things
exist in a wide range of businesses

Taxis and jet-skis are obvious centres of cheating, but fraud and violent bullying exist in a wide range of businesses, from real estate sales to the jewellery business.

blatant - easy to see that it is bad; done in an open and very obvious way
scam - an illegal trick with the purpose of getting money from people กลโกง, แผนร้าย
blatant scam

targeting - aiming an attack against someone เล็งไปที่
scam targeting Chinese tourists

informed -
told about something
informed of a blatant scam targeting Chinese tourists

At the top of the political chain, new Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak was informed of a blatant scam targeting Chinese tourists, called "zero-dollar tours".

free lunch - getting something for free, not having to pay for it

mythical
mythical "free lunch"

tourists by the bus load - large numbers of tourists

high-pressure salesmen
junk - garbage

It offers the mythical "free lunch", after which tourists by the bus load are put into the hands of high-pressure salesmen of junk and overpriced goods.

meet head-on - deal with a problem directly (and try to solve it)
deceptive - lieing; not telling the truth
meeting this deceptive cheating head-on

placate - to do something to stop a person from being angry
placate angry Chinese officials

flourish - to grow or develop successfully เจริญรุ่งเรือง ผลิดอกออกผล
the confidence game continued to flourish.

 Incredibly, instead of meeting this deceptive cheating head-on, Mr Somsak flew to Beijing to try to placate angry Chinese officials and tourist operators. While he was away, and after he returned, the confidence game continued to flourish.

responsibility - 1. being blamed for something that goes wrong, 2. having to take care of some task as part of your job
bears responsibility - is the person who caused something to happen; is the person to blame 

shady
- dishonest or illegal
shady business

aware - knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
fully aware - know completely for-sure that something exists (no uncertainty)
fully aware of the anti-tourist confidence game

Mr Somsak, then, bears a particular responsibility in this shady, shameful business. Not only is he the minister responsible, but he is fully aware of one of the worst anti-tourist confidence games being run in the country.

accountable - be responsible for something that has happened
held accountable for

lack - does not have ขาดแคลน
lack of action

complaints - when people say there is something wrong and they want it changed
complaints by Chinese tourists

He must be held accountable for any further lack of action, and complaints by Chinese tourists and authorities alike.

illegal - against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
unethical - actions not acceptable by society ไร้จรรยาบรรณ
inarguably - it is not possible to argue with this (or at least, very difficult to argue)

That is because cheating tourists has, indeed, become a business. It is a dirty, mostly illegal, always unethical, and inarguably harmful business.

subsidiary - a company owned or controlled by another company บริษัทในเครือ a company that is owned by a larger company บริษัทลูก

But it has become a subsidiary of the tourist industry.

filthy - very dirty
a filthy business

drug trafficking - the transport and sale of illegal drugs

without redeeming value - nothing is gained by it, no benefit comes from it

Like other filthy businesses such as drug trafficking, cheating tourists is without redeeming value.

employment - having a paid job
income - money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings

human trafficking - controlling people and moving people from place to place for forced labour or prostitution

smuggling - secretly and illegally taking goods or people into or out of a country ลักลอบขนสินค้าหรือคนเข้าและออกจากประเทศอย่างผิดกฎหมาย
drug smuggling

Arguing that cheating visitors gives employment and income is no different from supporting the dirty profits of human trafficking or drug smuggling

beat - win a contest against someone
beating the cheats

re - again
establishing - to create or make something 
re-establishing security - to create or make something again

mandatory - required (not optional) เป็นข้อบังคับ
mandatory - required, must do

Beating the cheats and re-establishing security is not just desirable - it is mandatory.

reputation - to be know or remembered for something good or bad; the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is ชื่อเสียง  ความนับหน้าถือตา ที่เป็นที่รู้จัก
reputation lost can never be regained.

at stake - what can be lost (depending on what happens in the future, the outcome)
stake - a share or a financial involvement in something such as a business

More is at stake than just the huge tourist industry and its millions of jobs. Cheating tourists is bad business for the entire country, and it needs to stop quickly

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