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Long weekend, busy roads and price gouging

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Airfare and accommodation costs have skyrocketed over this long weekend, an artificially added 2 days of holiday by the Thai government to stimulate the local travel economy. Airfares, if you didn’t get the earlier ‘cheapies’, have risen to 2 – 3 times their ‘normal’ discount prices. And accommodation costs have followed suit (although the OTAs are still advertising plenty of cheap rooms around the country if you have time to search).

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is predicting 3 million Thais will travel during between November 19 – 22 with an expected 1.3 billion baht in revenue being generated for the industry.

The TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn is hoping the 4 day holiday will provide the same sort of revenue for the battered local tourism industry as the annual Songkran holiday (which was postponed last April amidst the ‘lockdowns’ in Thailand).

He noted that the revelation of a solitary case of Covid-19 in Krabi last week, an Indian expat, caused panicked hotel cancellations in the southern province. Similar responses have happened before, notably cancelations in Rayong province after an Egyptian military officer tested positive whilst staying there. The much-hyped “Phuket Model” was also shelved after local fears were expressed to Thai officials about the possibility of a second wave of cases.

A Phuket hotelier, who asked to remain un-named, said that they were hopeful of a surge in bookings but the response has been “mediocre”. Some Pattaya hotels are reporting high bookings but are still well under 50% occupancy. Bangkok rooms are still mostly 50% or lower than their advertised rack rate.

But it hasn’t been a long weekend for everyone. Many Thai companies, including The Thaiger, haven’t given employees the Thursday and Friday off, denting the expected revenue for hotels and transport businesses.

Typical discount fares from Phuket to Bangkok, usually less than 1,000 baht each way, are now selling for 3,000 – 5,000 per seat for the long weekend.

 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Friday, November 20, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    3,000-5,00THB each way?! Consumers remember price gougers and dropping the price 1 or 2 days in because there weren’t many takers won’t help.

  2. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, November 20, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    Thais price gouging? Never hahaha. Of course they are going to price gouge since they have so few customers they have to get as much revenue as they can when they can. It’s long been the Thai way and I do have to admit under the current conditions can’t really blame them.

  3. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 5:29 am

    Follow the money… who is buying shares in hotels and airlines these days?
    Price gouging is going to fundamentally undermine the whole concept of spending weekends.
    If anything productivity needs to be increased, and the demise of non-viable businesses hastened.

  4. Avatar

    Realist

    Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Well, considering the economic situation and uncertainty of the future, I’m willing to bet that many Thai people are saving their money and probably won’t travel especially with the price gouging. The travel industry and hotels are also suffering along with the Thai people. Maybe after this artificial holiday, the TAT will realise their projections and hopes were way over estimated and the economic situation continues the downward path. Trust me, that I dont wish it, but I am an Economist and a Realist.
    I as well as many other foreigners are waiting and eager to travel to Thailand, but we all agree that not under the crazy restrictions and requirements.
    IMHO, the government (and all governments globably), just need to get out of the way and let the free will of a free market do and decide what it is going to do.
    Cheers

  5. Avatar

    Khunplastic

    Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 2:40 am

    You have too wonder if the old strategy of when business is bad up the price logic will be applied unitrately across the entire travel/tourism sector when this is all over.

    After all everybody body’s been banging on the gates to get in for ages,they won’t miss a few extra baht will they!(well yes they do actually)

    Appreciate this is an unprecedented situation and a lot of people are hard up but such a repsone would not surprise me in the slightest.

    I hope common sense will prevail but

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