PM speaks out on guides

July 25, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 25 July 2017: Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, is adamant that foreigners will not be allowed to work as tour guides in Thailand as the country revises a list of jobs that are reserved exclusively for Thai citizens.

According to the Royal Thai Government website, the government has no policy to allow foreign tour guides to work in Thailand as it is one of the occupations reserved exclusively for Thai citizens, as stipulated in the Foreign Business Act, B.E. 2542 (1999).

The government spokesperson, Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, said the PM made he comments in response to the Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand’s that has been lobbying the government to act on the problem of illegal tour guides. Read more

Cambodia to recruit guides

July 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News

PHNOM PENH, 6 July 2017: Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has set a target to have at least 300,000 qualified tour guides by 2025 to work both within the country and the region.

Agence Kampuchea Presse reported that the Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, outlined an ambitious training plan during a recent meeting in Phnom Penh.

“An additional 50,000 guides are needed every year as more and more visitors are visiting Cambodia,” he said. Read more

Abandoning tourists is bad for business

July 4, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 4 July 2017: Thailand’s Association of Thai Travel Agents calls on tour operators serving the Chinese market to comply with regulations in order to strengthen quality.

Speaking at the association’s monthly meeting, last Thursday, ATTA president, Vichit Prakobgosol, said the association and the Thai-Chinese Tourism Alliance Association discussed measures to tighten Chinese tour quality.

“Abandoning Chinese tourists and the lack of marine tourism safety are two issues that blight our business,” he said, referring to reports that tour guides even tour companies left their groups to fend for themselves. Read more

Vietnam eases guide rules

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, 23 June 2017: Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister, Vu Duc Dam, says people who are fluent in lesser-used foreign languages, but lack relevant university decrees are now eligible to accompany professional tour guides to serve international tourists and end a labour shortage.

Saigon Times media reported that the Deputy PM Dam rejected the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s proposal to issue temporary tour guide cards for linguists who are not trained as guides, but he admitted they had a role to play.

The National Assembly passed a revised Law on Tourism that introduces new rules that open a guiding career to vocational college graduates. The move is intended to enlarge the workforce in the tourism sector. Read more

Tough times for travel agents

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 15 May 2017: The monthly Association of Thai Travel Agents data on travellers booked with its member companies should sound a warning to travel agency owners that all is not well with their business model.

Declines are showing up in the figures counted at Bangkok’s two gateway airports based on clients booked on member company tours. Yet, the Ministry of Tourism’s month figures show a healthy growth in travel to the country even if you take out the dubious overland arrivals that mix tourists and border traders. Read more

Vietnam to strengthen tourism quality

April 25, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 25 April 2017: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism plans to improve the quality of travel operations, tour guides and tourist destinations to make the country more competitive.

Local media quoted VNAT’s deputy general director, Ngo Hoai Chung, saying the country’s tourism sector is enjoying a boom, but development faces challenges in managing travel operations, tour guides and tourist sites.

“This year, the sector will focus on enhancing management of travel operations and tour guides across the country.” Read more

HCMC short of guides

April 20, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, 20 April 2017: To handle a shortfall foreign language tour guides, Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Tourism will relax requirements to obtain accreditation cards.

Saigon Times media reported the city’s tourism department has recommended that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reduce and ease requirements to allow those holding vocational college degrees to apply for accreditation cards.

The current rules compel tour guides to graduate with a university degree in tourism to step right into a guiding job. Read more

Crackdown on travel agents

April 10, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Tour Companies, Vietnam

QUANG NINH, 10 April 2017: Quang Ninh’s Party Committee’s Communication and Education Commission says the province is cracking down on travel agencies and guides to improve the image of local tourism.

The province is famous for its national world heritage site of Halong Bay that draws millions of domestic and foreign tourists annually.

According to a Vietnam Net Bridges’ report that quoted the commission head, Cao Tuong Huy, three travel agents were fined and their international travel business licences revoked. Read more

Tourism Ministry promotes foodie tourism

March 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 9 March 2017: Ministry of Tourism and Sports says it will gear up its foodie tourism promotions to encourage more travellers to visit Thailand while encouraging them to test their taste buds on hot Thai dishes.

Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul calls the campaign  ‘gastronomy tourism’ claiming the objective is to “introduce Thai culture through Thai food experiences”.

To support food tourism, the Cabinet approved, last month, a USD4.1 million budget for Tourism Authority of Thailand to spend on a Michelin five-year contract (2017 to 2021) to promote food-tourism through its world-famous dining guide. Read more

Angkor guides lose income

January 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News

SIEM REAP, 23 January 2017: Angkor Tour Guide Association has demanded government action to curtail international tour guides who are working at the world heritage site illegally.

Phnom Penh Post quoted a 2009 sub-decree that states all tours arranged by international travel firms must hire Cambodian guides trained by Ministry of Tourism.

However, there is plenty of evidence that foreign tour guides are competing with local guides. Some companies claim they cannot use local guides because they are not proficient in certain foreign languages such as Korean, Japanese and Chinese. Read more

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