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12 Apr, 2016

Zero Dollar tours damage Thai tourism industry

BANGKOK, 11 April 2016 (NNT)-The government is working alongside the Thai tourism sector to stop overseas ‘Zero Dollar’ tour agencies damaging Thailand’s tourism industry.

Prime Minister’s Office Spokesperson Major General Sansern Keawkamnerd said the government has received many complaints from tourists who traveled to the country on ‘Zero Dollar’ tours.

They were tricked into buying cheap tour packages in their own countries only to find their expenses became greater once they arrived in Thailand. These foreign tourists, however, were not accompanied by the tour agencies they initially dealt with.

They were instead transferred to other companies operating in Thailand that are associated with their ‘Zero Dollar’ counterparts. The tourists were later pressured into purchasing expensive products or services by these secondary companies, in an attempt to extract unreasonable sums and profits.

The Major General said most of the money generated from this type of business fell into the hands of foreign tour operators rather than the Thai tourism industry. Restaurants, jewelry stores, leather goods shops and entertainment venues often charged them exorbitant prices.

It was also discovered that around 305 billion baht was being generated annually by this dodgy business. The government and the Tourism Council of Thailand are to determine reasonable prices for tour packages to Thailand, and provide such advisory information to countries including China, South Korea and Russia to name a few, where the ‘Zero Dollar’ tour operators are located.