Tourism department sets new standard for jet ski rental service

Economy August 02, 2014 01:00

By The Nation

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The Tourism department has introduced a new standard for services renting out personal watercraft, commonly known as jet skis, to boost confidence in the safety, quality of service, and business ethics of this popular seaside activity among Thai and forei

Acting Second Lieutenant Arnupap Gaesornsuwan, director-general of the department, said it had recently finalised and launched the Jet Ski Rental Service Standard to control the quality of service and safety measures of jet-ski rental shops as part of the military government’s overall effort to promote the country’s tourism industry.
The standard was drawn up soon after the appearance of YouTube videos showing some jet-ski rental shops in Thailand taking advantage of foreign customers. 
A number of tourists have filed complaints through their respective embassies in Thailand urging the government to address this issue. 
The Tourism Department said it hoped the new standard would address the problem effectively and prevent further damage to the country’s tourism image.
“At the same time, we are encouraging jet-ski business operators in Thailand to recognise the needs and importance of the standard, and to move promptly to improve their service quality, the skills of their staff, and their business ethics, in order to meet with the standard set by the department,” Arnupap said.
Rental shops that comply with the new standard are eligible for the department’s “Merry Elephant” Thailand Tourism Standard emblem, but they must first be registered companies or juristic persons that have been in business for more than three months and must have permanent addresses. 
Second, all jet skis must be registered and licensed, with a valid insurance policy. 
Third, jet-ski rental shops must be equipped with certified supervisors with knowledge of first-aid care deployed at the area of service at all times. 
In addition, one certified person can only supervise two jet skis at a time, ensuring that users wear standard safety vests at all times while using these watercraft. 
Jet-ski renters are required to pass the assessment conducted by a jet-ski supervisor prior to using the service to prevent possible damage and, most important, to prevent possible accidents and injury. 
Last, jet-ski rental shops must make their fees visible to customers, including the service terms and conditions, to ensure ethical and transparent service.
“Nautical tourism is considered a highlight of tourism in the coastal areas of Thailand,” Arnupap said. 
“The revenue generated from this type of tourism is an important source of income in both high and low seasons.