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Thailand’s travel operators face upset tourists demanding refunds

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55 Thai visitors were reported missing this month on Jeju Island. Thai travellers refused entry to South Korea request refunds. Some travelers are still waiting for a 10,000-baht payment to assure they won’t work illegally in South Korea. The Thai Tourism Department acknowledged 67 passengers’ claims between August 5 and 17 that tour companies owed them 1.4 million baht. Providers must repay customers after deducting expenses. If flights are altered or tour companies must arrange new return flights after being denied entry at immigration, operators can deduct the airfare before refunding consumers. Thai Travel Agents Association head Charoen Wangananont claimed South Korea travel has dropped dramatically. 417 Thais arriving on Jeju Airlines from Bangkok between August 2 and 5 were denied entry. South Korea legally employs 18,000 Thais. In South Korea, 140,000 Thais work illegally. Next week, the department will discuss refunding tour costs.

Charoen said many tourists fear being turned away and losing money. Deputy director-general Jaturon Phakdeewanit said an investigation is underway. Unregistered tour firms that use illegal labor are rare. The department will review unlicensed enterprises for irregularities, then work with the Labor Ministry to fix them. “We expect all businesses will obey the laws and refund travelers because wrongdoings will prevent them from extending their license or continuing operation. 10,377 undocumented Thai workers were deported this year. Thai travellers refused entry to South Korea request refunds.

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