Immigration officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport to receive courtesy training

Some 1,200 immigration officers at Bangkok's Suvanarbhumi International Airport will take a training course on personality development following complaints from foreign visitors to the Immigration Bureau that they were always frowning and unfriendly, according to a senior Immigration Bureau official.

National Airport Immigration Division Commissioner, Pol. Maj-Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda Monday signed a cooperation agreement with Suan Dusit Rajabhat University on a behavioural modification training course.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gen. Chakthip said, Suan Dusit Rajabhat University will prepare a personality development training course for immigration officers called the "Sawasdee Project."

The project was initiated after about 30 per cent of visitors at Suvarnabhumi complained that immigration officers at the airport did their duty without smiling and looked unfriendly. Moreover, both arriving and departing passengers complained about the slow immigration documentation procedures, Gen. Chakthip said.

With the cooperation with Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, immigration officers will be trained to use Thai traditional culture to treat visitors, including the Thai traditional ways of greetings -- the wai, greeting visitors with the word "Sawasdee" and saying thank you after the procedure is completed.

After the training, he hoped, the visitors would be impressed with the new look of the officials and it can eventually create a good image and positive attitudes among foreign visitors.

However, Gen. Chakthip, stressed that the officers would strictly carry out their duties in immigration procedure.

He added the the Immigration Bureau planned to expand the "Sawasdee Project" to include Thailand's international airports in Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, and Surat Thani province, as well as Hat Yai in Songkhla province, and expected the project would satisfy the visitors.

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