Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has reiterated that the government has no policy or intention whatsoever to allow foreign tour guides to work in the kingdom as tour guiding as a profession reserved for Thai citizens.
But he took note of the problem of shortage of tour guides which, he said, has dogged tourism industry for a long time. He said he had instructed the Education Ministry and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to work together to produce more qualified tour guides to meet the increasing demand and the expansion of tourism business.
The prime minister also recommended Thai tour guides to also try to develop their own skills to meet the demand of tour operators.
According to latest information up to June 30, there are altogether 70,665 registered tour guides in the kingdom, including 46,880 general tour guides and 19,154 tour guides in specific zones. Most of the registered tour guides speak English as second language followed by Chinese-speaking and Japanese-speaking tour guides.
However, tour operators want tour guides who also speak other languages such as Russian as tourists from the other countries are visiting Thailand in increasing numbers each year.
The prime minister insisted that authorities concerned had routinely taken actions against foreign tour operators who brought with them their own tour guides and who took their own tourists to shop in their shops.