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Tourism officials look to end dual pricing for expats

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

“The key factor is we have to treat expats like locals, without discrimination or a negative attitude towards foreigners.”

Admission fees at national parks and tourist attractions are often drastically higher for expats than they are for Thai nationals. Foreigners sometimes even pay 10 times more than Thais. Tourism officials say they might put an end to dual pricing for those who live in Thailand. Foreign tourists, though, were not mentioned in the discussions.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working on new incentives to help boost domestic tourism. The country’s travel dependent economy has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic when international travel was put on pause, airlines grounded and borders closed.

TAT officials say they’re in the works of making a travel card that would verify an expat’s status, so permanent residents are charged the same price as Thai nationals. TAT says they’ll talk to various national parks and tourist attractions about setting a fixed price for those who have the new travel card.

Eliminating the dual price system at tourist attractions would allow expats to save money and entice people to travel more often, increasing domestic tourism, according to the TAT’s governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

“The key factor is we have to treat expats like locals, without discrimination or a negative attitude towards foreigners.”

Thai tourist attractions often display a sign stating the admission fees, both in English and in Thai. The price in written Thai is often drastically lower than the prices in English. Sometimes expats can show a Thai work permit and get a discount, but many attractions still charge the foreign rate and dismiss the pleas for a ‘local’ rate.

To shed light on the price difference, local blogger Richard Barrow started the website and Facebook group 2PriceThailand, sharing photos of signs and tickets that show the different prices. His Facebook group, which has nearly 14,000 members, says the intention is to give foreigners the “right to choose” as many tourist attractions “disguise” the dual prices.

“Our opinion is that if they want to overcharge foreign tourists by as much as 200% then that is their decision. But don’t that is their way that is both sneaky and insulting.”

Some other thoughts on dual pricing HERE.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post |Facebook


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 11:28 am

    They can charge what they want, but it is the sneaky way they do it I object to.
    The sign shown is quite clear to decipher. There is a difference in price for Thais, however what is dishonest is they still do not show what the Thai pays. They put the Thai price in Thai script, a scrip they never use normally.
    Now that it is becoming common knowledge, the authorities are becoming honest all of a sudden.
    These places need the money now.
    However personally if a tuc tuc driver tries to scam me on Tuesday, I am not going to use the tuc tuc on Wednesday.
    It’s payback time. Starve you Thai racist scammers.

    • Avatar

      Bruno Allison

      Friday, September 4, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      100% let them starve the greedy lazy racists

    • Avatar


      Friday, September 4, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      Vietnam outlawed dual pricing back in January. Venues can still set their own prices but they have to be the same for everyone.

  2. Avatar


    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    It’s good to see they recognise this discriminatory unfairness, BUT it should also be extended to international tourists as well. I won’t hold my breath until it happens though.

  3. Avatar


    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    If they do I’ll start going to national parks again when I first arrive in Thailand I was going to one every three weeks until I found out I was being ripped off

  4. Avatar


    Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    How many months or years are you dumblebums going to consider/anguish over dropping the dual pricing? Just drop it already. You know its the right think to do. Show some initiative for once.
    Should never have been practiced in the first place.

  5. Avatar


    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Just came back from a trip to the Khao Yai National Park. I was charged 400 baht (10 times what my Thai friends had to pay).

    I thought the gov’t had changed the policy to promote domestic tourism but the woman at the entrance was adamant that it didn’t matter if I had a Thai license (or anything else), I still had to pay the full 400.

  6. Avatar

    Darryl Australia

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    I am a tourist, and would have to pay the tourist price, and I’m OK with that. Thai Govt needs money from tourism to pay for services, the same has tour operators. They should be able to charge tourists what the tourists see it is worth, and locals need to be able to access the National Park for a price that is fair for them.

    In Australia I earn 12 times as much as my peer in our Bangkok office.

    What I see the Govt needs to address is dual pricing for residents, and make it consistent. I understand how frustrating it is for a resident to not know whether they will have to pay 10 times one day to the next.

    The Thai DL licence is easy, just make it consistent. No need for a special card.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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