Reader TalkBack Thailand: Should Foreign Tour Guides Be Allowed to Legally Work in Thailand?


The following is our regular feature in which we ask our readers a news topical question and get their insight and opinions. We then share their feedback about a week later and pick a variety of diverse and interesting responses.

This week, we want to ask: 

Should Foreign Tour Guides Be Allowed to Legally Work in Thailand?

Some context around this question:

This weekend, angry Thai tour guides across Thailand met with relevant authorities demanding a crackdown on what they say is a massive amount of illegal foreign tour guides working in tourist areas like Phuket and Pattaya.

Tour guides have long been a protected Thai only occupation and a foreigner cannot even get a work permit to be one.

However, critics say that many tourists from countries like Russia, India, and China prefer guides from their own countries who speak their own language fluently and understand their customers culture. Thai tour guides say No Way, Jose, stating that a foreigner could not possibly understand Thai culture to properly show tourists guided locations.

So…what do you think? Should it be allowed? Should the laws be changed? Perhaps could a middle ground be found?

We look forward to hearing from you! Tell us on our social media channels, in the comments below, or if you prefer your comment to be private mail us at We will publish the results and select a variety of diverse responses early next week, as always!

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.


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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.