"Zero dollar" tours still causing headaches for Chiang Mai tour operators
CHIANG MAI: -- Chinese companies undercutting tour operators using the "zero-dollar" tour scheme are causing trouble for tourist businesses in Chiang Mai.
So much so that after inactivity by officials who have promised action a representative of the operators has appealed to the Thai media to demand action.
Sirichok Sirisisakun, secretary of a tour group association in the northern city spoke to Tnews about the problem yesterday.
Some 80 per cent of Chinese visitors were booking tours through two companies under the same umbrella, he said.
They used the websites "Thai Pao" and "Lang Mao" in China.
Tours that are charged 800-1000 baht in Thailand are offered for 105 Yuan or as little as 550 baht.
This is causing considerable difficulty to the Thai operators, he said.
This has been going on for two years but nothing has been done despite promises to crackdown from the authorities.
Elsewhere in Thailand people have been charged and jailed for running the zero-dollar tours and sports and tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavarangkul made it her mission last year to stop the practice to protect the Thai tourism industry.
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