PHUKET: Island tour boat operators met in Phuket on Friday to discuss forming a club to help combat what they say is customer-poaching by illegally operated, foreign-owned companies.

The group’s ire is focused mainly on Chinese and Russian companies that they claim are set up using a Thai nominee.

“In the past, Chinese and Russian tour operators contacted us for boat rentals, Thai tour guides, hotels and restaurants,” said Krissada Phichetponsanon, Managing Director of the Andavaree company.