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Foreign Tourism Operators "Using Nominees To Shield Their Illegal Activities"?

Transcript of the above video: 

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing foreign tourism operators operating illegally here in Thailand. For those who are unaware, yes tourism and tour guides, that kind of thing, that is a very restricted occupation here in Thailand, restricted specifically to Thai nationals. 

Recently we have seen sort of the tide of well, a large tide of tourists which is great, but within those ranks unfortunately, there are a number of people that are trying to come to Thailand and engage in work activities that are restricted to Thais. Thailand has a very protectionist paradigm when it comes to insulating their own labour market from the outside world quite honestly, and in my opinion, in Thailand's unique position that is a very prudent policy to maintain in my opinion. 

That said, I thought of making this video after reading a recent article from the Bangkok Post,, the article is titled: Unwelcome rebirth of zero-dollar tours. So to be clear, let's get the terminology down here. Zero-dollar tours is something that came about, I want to say about 7, 10 years ago we first started seeing that term and it pertained at that time to a number of Tourism operators who were bringing in Chinese tourists from the mainland but they were paying primarily either in the mainland or in Hong Kong or some other offshore jurisdiction and the money was not coming directly into Thailand. Then once those people would get here, they wouldn't really spend anything here or nothing that was taxable in Thailand. It caused quite a great deal of consternation and it resulted in serious initiatives by law enforcement that ended up bringing down some tourism companies, pretty big ones actually and folks ended up in jail over it actually at the time if I recall correctly. That said, quoting directly: "This trend has begun to ravage the Tourism Industry because of the poor quality of the tours leaving licensed Thai operators unable to compete, said Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents. (ATTA) Quoting further: "Mr Sisdivachr said recently more groups of foreigners are operating tour companies in Thailand, using nominees to shield their illegal activities."

So again, as we have discussed in other videos, nominees are strictly speaking illegal in Thailand. It is illegal to utilize someone standing in one's stead to own things like shares in a company in order to maintain compliance for example with the Foreign Business Act. In this scenario, it appears that nominees are allegedly being used by foreigners to sort of obfuscate the fact that a foreigner is effectively running a tourism company here in Thailand. Much like with land ownership in Thailand, relevant Thai Authorities and I would argue probably rank and file Thai people generally, view tourism operation as an exclusively Thai endeavour. For that reason, they go to great lengths to protect that sort of exclusivity. So the thing to understand is if you are trying to set something up like this and you are utilizing nominees, you can find yourself in some real problems as law enforcement is heavily scrutinizing such endeavors and they are definitely scrutinizing the companies associated with such operations.