Foreigners Are Prohibited From Working as Tour Guides in Thailand

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Labour and the Royal Thai Police have joined forces in a field operation to arrest illegal foreign tour guides, as people have reported the misconduct of illegal foreign tour guides working in Thailand and taking jobs away from local tour guides.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed foreigners that the profession of a tour guide is protected under Thai law and only allows Thai nationals to work in the Kingdom.

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Chinese tourists visit the Grand Palace scenic spot in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 7, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)

According to the Emergency Decree on the Administration of Foreigners’ Work B.E. 2017, foreigners who do not have a work permit or work beyond their rights will have to pay a fee between THB 5,000 and THB 50,000 and will be sent back to their home country. They will not be allowed to apply for a work permit for 2 years.

An employer or business that allows illegal aliens to work without a work permit, or allows them to work beyond their rights, must pay a fee of THB 10,000 to THB 100,000 per illegal worker. In case of a repeat offence, they face a prison sentence of 1 year or the payment of a fee of THB 50,000 to THB 200,000 per illegal worker. They will also be banned from hiring foreign workers for 3 years.




The Department of Tourism recommends that travellers obtain information via before purchasing package tours to avoid fraud by illegal travel agents.

Tour guides without a license or a company operating during a license suspension shall be punished by imprisonment for 2 years or a fine of not more than THB 500,000 or both.

You can complain about a tour guide company, tour guide package purchase and tour guide service through the Department of Tourism Call Centre: 02-401-1111 24 hours.