Chiang Mai tour guides slam illegal foreign operators

Chiang Mai tour guides slam illegal foreign operators

Chiang Mai tour guides have appealled to police to drive out foreign operators who they accuse of stealing their business and livelihoods. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)
Chiang Mai tour guides have appealled to police to drive out foreign operators who they accuse of stealing their business and livelihoods. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)

CHIANG MAI — Licensed tour guides on Sunday petitioned police to crack down on an influx of illegal operators from other countries including Japan and the United States, saying they are stealing their jobs and their livelihoods.

About 20 guides submitted a letter and evidence to Pol Lt Col Assawathorn Wongsawat, investigation inspector at the Tourist Police Division’s Sub-Division 4, asking tourist police to arrest and stem the flood of foreign illegal guides operating in the northern capital. 

Worawut Areephan, an independent guide and the group’s leader, said the tour guide profession is reserved exclusively for Thai citizens under Thai law, but currently there are foreigners from Israel, China, Japan, the US and some other countries operating more than 30 tour companies and working as guides in Chiang Mai. 

He alleged some of the illegal foreign tour businesses openly sold drugs and arranged sex services for their customers. He warned the situation would ruin the province’s tourism industry and more illegal foreign workers would steal jobs from local guides if authorities did not tackle the problem seriously and urgently. 

Pol Lt Col Assawathorn said he would report the complaint to his superiors, investigate the submitted information and work with other concerned agencies to arrest the offenders. 


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