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Thailand to cleanse itself of jet-ski scams

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Tourists often threatened with violence to pay scams

As a demand by the ruling Thai military, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Ministry of Tourism and Sports are enforcing a new set of standards to wipe out jet-ski scams targeting tourists.

Common at Thailand’s beach destinations, especially Pattaya and Phuket, scams often see tourists returning a rented jet ski and being told they have damaged the vehicle. Under threat of violence they have to pay a massive repair fee.

The new Jet Ski Rental Service Standards require jet-ski operators to have a three-month legal business licence tied to a permanent address and a valid insurance policy. Certified supervisors with first-aid training and signs clearly displaying rental fees, terms and conditions must also be present. Compliant operators will be issued a Merry Elephant logo to guarantee standards.

Tourists renting jet skis must also pass an assessment test, and wear standard safety life-vests at all times.

“The move is one of several measures put in place by the National Council for Peace and Order to help restore the confidence of tourists visiting the kingdom,” said Thawatchai Arunyik, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. “To bring an end to rip-offs and scams, new regulations will be put in place and more ethical working practices encouraged.”

TTG Asia

[pictured: Thong Nai Pan, Koh Phangan]

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