Foreigners may have to pay more for hotels than Thais

Dual pricing could be coming to a hotel near you. That’s if a proposal from the tourism ministry and Tourism Authority of Thailand gets the go-ahead.

Yes, despite Thailand tourism officials’ express wish to attract as many foreigners to Thailand, there are plans to increase hotel prices to pre-pandemic levels to boost the recovery of the hospitality industry – but only for foreigners. Many hotels have been discounting their room rates to help attract as many customers as possible.

But, under the proposal, only foreigners coming to Thailand will find their hotel rooms more expensive. Local Thais will receive the discounted prices.

A government spokeswoman says that the proposal is “to maintain our standards of rates and services for foreign tourists, which affects the perception of the country’s tourism brand”.

“Rates that have been reduced during Covid-19 will be maintained for Thais to sustain the momentum of domestic tourism.”

The Covid pandemic dropped room occupancy rates, in some cases, to around 30-40% of their pre-Covid rates. The pandemic caused hotels in popular tourist destinations like Phuket, Bangkok, Koh Samui and Krabi to offer discounts and promotions to lure travellers.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry will ask the hotel sector to adopt the dual pricing system, where foreigners are charged more than Thais. The prices would be similar to life before Covid.

Locals won’t be affected by the change, and they can still enjoy the different promotions and discounts from hotels.

The ministry and Tourism Authority of Thailand will now speak with the Hotel Association of Thailand about the dual pricing scheme. But the story is already all over social media and the response has been universally savage…

IDIOTS striking again! Funny thing is they are convinced that hotel chains are as stupid as them.

Thai logic. Less tourists = up the prices to make up for it.

Tourists will avoid Thailand if they have to pay more.

Well, do they need tourism or not? I cannot believe what my country trying to do.

It just won’t work. Even talking about it will make tourists change their plans.

If this is the policy, I recommend to every traveller/tourist: Avoid Thailand!

So is Agoda going to ask for your nationality when you make a booking now or do you just pay extra at check in?

It’s still unclear how the government make it attractive to promote dual pricing to international travellers coming to Thailand with the introduction of a sanctioned policy for hotels. This would also create a problem for foreigners and expats already living in Thailand too.

Earlier this week, Deputy Thai PM and public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul compared Thailand to popular luxury brand, Louis Vuitton.

“We cannot let people come to Thailand and stay because it’s cheap. Hold your ground. Sell premium. The more expensive, the more customers. Otherwise, Louis Vuitton wouldn’t have any sales.”

Current travellers coming to Thailand are 70-80% fewer over the past month (compared to 2019), even with the removal of all restrictions for arrivals, including getting rid of the Thailand Pass. In some of the popular tourist areas, like Phuket, Pattaya, Samui and Chiang Mai, up to 50% of the hotels and accommodation options remain closed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Pete is a writer for The Thaiger, and he writes various topics from news, travel and property. His main focus is writing about Thai news, and what is happening in Thailand.