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Tourism officials look to end dual pricing for expats

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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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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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