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A meeting of soldiers, police and land transport officials to discuss the problem of the fleecing of tourists who rent motorcycles on the island of Koh Phangan.
Tourists both Thai and foreign have often experienced problem when having accidents. They have been charged at least double for the cost of repairs, reported Thairath.
In some cases the gouging is so severe that the tourist would have been able to buy a new bike.
The meeting proposed a number of measures to bring some order to the business. These were decided as follows:
1. All bikes should be registered, in proper working order and a helmet should be provided at the time of rental.
2. A written rental agreement must be supplied in which the cost of spare parts is clearly stated.
3. If repairs are needed a fair market price should be quoted.
4. Tourists should be advised about the basics of the law including fines
5. Tourists need to present a valid international or local license at the time of signing the rental agreement.
The proposals are part of government initiatives to bring order and clarity to various sectors of the tourism business.
While most operators act within the law and are fair, some on Koh Pangan are unscrupulous and are giving the island a bad name.
It was felt that the knock on effect for tourism in other places too could be detrimental if something was not done on the island.