Thailand to crack down on ‘zero-dollar' tour scams


Thailand to crack down on ‘zero-dollar’ tour scams

Sunday, 23 Jun, 2024 0

The scourge of the zero-dollar tour scams previously aimed mostly on Chinese travellers is still impacting the reputation of Thailand’s tourism industry.

Tourism minister Sermsak Pongpanich has directed the Tourist Police to crack down on the ‘price-dumping tours’ due to reputational damage to the country.

It comes after President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, discussed the matter with the Prime Minister.

Sermsak says there are still a large number of unlicensed travel agencies selling loss leading cheap packages but guests are then forced into specific stores during tours to buy overpriced goods.

Often, threats are used to pressure tourists to buy. It has also led to some physical assaults and large groups locked inside a store and only allowed out after spending.

It has been primarily a problem targeting Chinese tour groups but Sermsak says Russian and Indian groups are also being targeting more frequently.

Some tourism industry insiders say the problem is the worst it has been for years.

“This tarnishes Thailand’s image, making the country appear cheap and unsafe,” Sisdivachr said. 

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Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.



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