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george

Crackdown On Dive Industry

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Haha... thats why I set up an online dive business for Asia..

One issue that might be casue for concern is the "crackdown" on farang with (or without) permits.

I know of not a single dive master/instructor with one, they live here on 30 day visa runs.

I was under the impression from reading the work permit requirements that work in the tourisim business for farang was not possible (eg no work permit granted). It will be interresting to see how this plays out..

Thailand has the largest number of certified divers in Asia, and graduates more than any other country on a monthly basis.

Whats more worrying are the dive "schools" that are not certified by either PADI or SSI.

first off on the islands such as koh tao, phi phi and when you are working the boats in the similans althoug you should have a permit there is no one there to enforce it at all. the checks are non existent so pretty much no one bothers except perhaps the "official" farang employee that is on the books of the company. it is usual for the others to not have permits and they employed as freelance anyway.

phuket is a different matter altogether. I do not know any of the larger companies/shops that dont ask right at the beginning "do you have a permit?" they now want you to have this due to regular checks at chalong pier on the day boats.

as far as the "no work permits for farangs in tourist ind" lets be realistic . no farangs in dive industry = no dive industry. there is no nearly enough thai qualified instructors to keep it going. when you try and organise for training for them as the article states the funding dries up and only a small number are generated.

plus there is the money that the govt make of all the inst and dm's that are legit with work permits. Thousands paying the minimum tax that the govet wants of at least 4000 baht a month, plus the continual extension of work permit fee's. Of course there is also the fees the govt gets when the inst has to pay to set up a compnay to employ himself and so generate a work permit.

there is a massive indutsry built around service the "dive pro's" that are foreigners all of this should be taken into account but it wont be. someomne high up has decided that they would like a bigger slice of the pie and the pressure is being put on. always the same. wonder how much the "registration" for this will cost :o

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The gov tried to do this same thing many years ago. The feedback from the dive industry here was that Thailand would be wiped off the dive destination map if they tried to boot all of the Western dive master out and replace them with Thai dive masters.

The BIGGEST issue is safety. Sure, many Thais are very capable of completing a dive master course, BUT culturally, Thais are ridiculously inept when it comes to safety. They, for the most part, don't even wear helmets when riding motorbikes, they put their kids in front of them and have them hold onto the mirrors, they'll run a red light at the drop of a hat, and so on. Would you trust your LIFE to a Thai divemaster? The gov is betting on 'yes', reality is that the overwhelming answer across the globe is 'no'!

I'm sure there is a lot of money being made that isn't taxed, but that problem exists all across the board. Why pick on the dive industry. Well, I'll answer my own question: because foreigners are easy to harass and we don't have the rights to fight back.

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first off on the islands such as koh tao, phi phi and when you are working the boats in the similans althoug you should have a permit there is no one there to enforce it at all. the checks are non existent so pretty much no one bothers except perhaps the "official" farang employee that is on the books of the company. it is usual for the others to not have permits and they employed as freelance anyway.

phuket is a different matter altogether. I do not know any of the larger companies/shops that dont ask right at the beginning "do you have a permit?" they now want you to have this due to regular checks at chalong pier on the day boats.

as far as the "no work permits for farangs in tourist ind" lets be realistic . no farangs in dive industry = no dive industry. there is no nearly enough thai qualified instructors to keep it going. when you try and organise for training for them as the article states the funding dries up and only a small number are generated.

plus there is the money that the govt make of all the inst and dm's that are legit with work permits. Thousands paying the minimum tax that the govet wants of at least 4000 baht a month, plus the continual extension of work permit fee's. Of course there is also the fees the govt gets when the inst has to pay to set up a compnay to employ himself and so generate a work permit.

there is a massive indutsry built around service the "dive pro's" that are foreigners all of this should be taken into account but it wont be. someomne high up has decided that they would like a bigger slice of the pie and the pressure is being put on. always the same. wonder how much the "registration" for this will cost

Yeah that was my point... if the government cracks down on farang instructors with no work permits (pretty much all of them) then Thailand as a dive destination is screwed.

I'm still unsure as to how its even possible to get a work permit in the tourisim industry for those that have them I suspect it's becasue they own the business and their job title is based around admin, and day to day running.

I dont want this to happen, thats about 20% of my total income.

Edited by VanZam

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If you go out seven miles from the shore, do you need a work permit at all?

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Be interesting to see where this one goes. I know the diving industry can't really survive without a huge farang staff, and the regulations *currently in place* make it very hard for many of the shops go 100% legit.

I also know that the dive shops would have a very hard time operating without getting money and free labor off the Dive Master Trainees. It creates the PADI incentive to get more training and do more diving.

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first off on the islands such as koh tao, phi phi and when you are working the boats in the similans althoug you should have a permit there is no one there to enforce it at all. the checks are non existent so pretty much no one bothers except perhaps the "official" farang employee that is on the books of the company. it is usual for the others to not have permits and they employed as freelance anyway.

phuket is a different matter altogether. I do not know any of the larger companies/shops that dont ask right at the beginning "do you have a permit?" they now want you to have this due to regular checks at chalong pier on the day boats.

as far as the "no work permits for farangs in tourist ind" lets be realistic . no farangs in dive industry = no dive industry. there is no nearly enough thai qualified instructors to keep it going. when you try and organise for training for them as the article states the funding dries up and only a small number are generated.

plus there is the money that the govt make of all the inst and dm's that are legit with work permits. Thousands paying the minimum tax that the govet wants of at least 4000 baht a month, plus the continual extension of work permit fee's. Of course there is also the fees the govt gets when the inst has to pay to set up a compnay to employ himself and so generate a work permit.

there is a massive indutsry built around service the "dive pro's" that are foreigners all of this should be taken into account but it wont be. someomne high up has decided that they would like a bigger slice of the pie and the pressure is being put on. always the same. wonder how much the "registration" for this will cost

I'm still unsure as to how its even possible to get a work permit in the tourisim industry for those that have them I suspect it's becasue they own the business and their job title is based around admin, and day to day running.

on my application for work permit it said dive instructor and i had to provide copies of said credentials. I know most people regard insts as being travelers etc who just bum around the world diving but it is actually a recognised teaching position.

maybe they swing it that you are a specialist "consultant" teaching instructor something or other but at the end of the day you are paying tax each month and work permit fee's which must keep someone in the govt very happy.

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Whether certified by PADI or NAUI really doesn't matter. That "certification" is mostly a matter of money.

Next Pattaya will follow.

I'm surprised it took them that long to crack down on the dive industry though. I have wondered about that for the last 15 years, how with all the restrictions on farang working here they will still allow all that obvious work going on. Of course logically Thai's can never do that work, which farang in his own mind would put his life in the hand of a Thai dive instructor - if they can even find one who speak good enough English to be able to teach the subject - and want to for the low salaries available.

Probably a lot of tourists who considered a packet of sun, fun and diving might take another destination such as Malaysia or Philipines. Thailand lose, again, because of greed.

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on my application for work permit it said dive instructor and i had to provide copies of said credentials. I know most people regard insts as being travelers etc who just bum around the world diving but it is actually a recognised teaching position.

maybe they swing it that you are a specialist "consultant" teaching instructor something or other but at the end of the day you are paying tax each month and work permit fee's which must keep someone in the govt very happy.

Yeah I think it's another case of different immigration officers with different rules, I know many of the instructors that we send to Thailand for work get turned down for work permits. But as it was mentioned earlier, when on a liveaboard off Phuket, people are rarly checked.

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Idinasia - I think the gist of the article in Post #2 is that most of the dive programme students came from poor unskilled backgrounds with little chance of opportunity in life. The programme was funded by foreign donors to help them on their way and with the enthusiasm they have to escape their poverty, they certainly have a better chance in life, now, than they ever had before.

Often, those from nothing rise to greatness! :D

They should try sending them to Cairns to be trained, they have now made it a law in queensland that divemasters must be able to count to 24 without taking their shoes off, for all non australians this law is protect the tourists from being left out on the reef to make their own way home :D nignoy

Are you from Cairns, Nignoy? :o

Bribie Island by way of Wigan :D:D Nignoy

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I just want to add:

english is not enough, when it comes to special diving terms it is important to speak the customers motherlanguage.

It is good if you come from the same culture.

It may make a big difference if your customer is german, us-american, indian or japanese. Of course it is possible to teach someone from a different culture but if there is a choice it is better to take the same culture.

And I have my doubts if Somchai from Kwaiburi without any school and understand of physics, as well not interested in diving at all, just in the money will be a good theacher.

Interesting quite expensive proposition to achieve Dive Instructor and Dive Master. Who actually pays for this, the dive company????

Not in any standard situation ... you earn the cert by taking the classes and making the dives ... and you pay it yourself.

and I read Post #2 .... did you read mine? Looks like 6 will possibly qualify as instructors at some point .. maybe ...... which COULD do good things for getting more Thais interested in Scuba ... But unless their language skills are excellent in Many languages there will be a need for foriegn instructors ...

Plus .. frankly even a dive-master needs to be proficient to some extent in the language of the people he is taking diving. I mean REALLY CULTURALLY proficient ... trust is a HUGE part of getting new divers to not only continue but to advance! Profits in the industry are increased with classes and sales ...

I know alot of Thai people that are fluent in English ... but few-none that would leave what they are doing for a less lucrative job in being a dive-master

It doesn't say in the article that the Instructor class is offered there or that it is free ... but we can assume it might be ....

now what about the equipment that a divemaster must own? ... about 60k baht worth. It doesn't say in the article that they were given that ... a new divemaster MAY be able to borrow some from his company (break it you bought it) but the really pricey stuff you should have .. well ....

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I just want to add:

english is not enough, when it comes to special diving terms it is important to speak the customers motherlanguage.

It is good if you come from the same culture.

It may make a big difference if your customer is german, us-american, indian or japanese. Of course it is possible to teach someone from a different culture but if there is a choice it is better to take the same culture.

And I have my doubts if Somchai from Kwaiburi without any school and understand of physics, as well not interested in diving at all, just in the money will be a good theacher.

Isn't this what they say about English teachers? :o

It is interesting to note that the crackdown is all about tax.

No mention of saftey of any sort in the O/P. :D

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Overlooking the off-topic comment about English teachers,

I know very little about Thailand, and nothing about diving, but quite a bit about auditing income tax returns and discovering sources of unreported income. It should be a natural, daily, normal, expert ability of the Ministry of the Treasury to have a tax revenue department full of agents and collectors and auditors who know how to do their job.

The revenue department sees an area of non-compliance (a province, an occupation), and they focus on it. Simple - but not easy, just doing your job well.

After three years here, it appears that xenophobia is going from incredibly strong to unbearably impossible.

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Dive masters and instructors earn very little money here and even if taxed would contribute very little money - something like 5% on income above 150,000 baht a year, maybe 2000 baht a month tops. Even combined with work permit fees it's still not enough to be a big concern of IRD.

I think that what IRD is looking at is dive schools themselves. An average liveaboard collects about 5,000 from one diver a day. If there are ten divers aboard it's 50,000 baht, per day - that's a lot of untaxed money for IRD. If they are smart enough they'll just go for the business owners and not dive masters themselves.

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And I have my doubts if Somchai from Kwaiburi without any school and understand of physics, as well not interested in diving at all, just in the money will be a good theacher.

Well,

Seen my fair share of un-educated / drunk falang instructors. One guy I know of with a hooker GF, who sent her kid out to beg on the pattaya streets so she and him can booze at night time. I can tell you that my Falang ( german ) instructor turned out to be far worse than many a Thai instructor that I have seen.

I have alot of Thai instructor and non-instructor friends, some of which are not only very professional, but fun to be with.

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There is another thread about the problem of single, double and multiple entry visas being issued at consulates. I wonder if there is a--for lack of a better word--conspiracy.

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