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Wow! TAT says they’ll give expats 500 baht to boost tourism



PHOTO: Unsplash: Kevin Bosc

Where would you go with 500 baht? Probably not very far. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says they’re going to hand out 500 baht discount for each trip they take. TAT says they hope that the 2 million baht budget scheme will help stimulate domestic tourism.

The 500 baht is expected to encourage the expats to “travel in the country and stimulate domestic tourism during the international border closure,” according to the director of TAT’s ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific Market Division, Kulpramote Wannalert. Trips need to be at least 1 night and the deal is only for expats and their families.

“Since the international border is still closed, one of the potential target groups for Thai tourism is foreigners who are working or studying in Thailand, known as expats, with a population of more than 180,000 people.”

While some Thais lost their jobs or had a drop in income since the coronavirus pandemic, many expats have also been at a loss. Some expats who work as teachers went 5 months without getting a paycheck since the school start date was delayed and many did not get paid for the holiday break. Others who wish to stay in the country are scrambling to get their money together to pay for visa costs, which can cost thousands of baht since borders are closed.

TAT says the 500 baht discount scheme would also help reduce expenses for expats who face higher admission fees to attractions like temples and national parks. Foreigners sometimes pay 3 times the amount Thai nationals do. The dual price system has sparked local blogger Richard Barrow to start the Facebook group and website “2 Price Thailand,” bringing even more attention to the controversial fee disparity.

Pattaya News reports TAT is negotiating with authorities about the entrance fees for foreigners. Kulpramote says TAT will make an announcement on the subject soon.

In addition to the 500 baht incentive, TAT is holding the “Expat Travel Deal 2020” event in Bangkok from September 11 to 13. Travel agencies will have numerous promotions and deals for expats.

“This group of expatriates could also serve as a voice to promote tourism in Thailand in the long term among their own nationality and all around the world. Therefore, we need to promote our health, safety and confidence in tourism through the eye of the expats.”

SOURCE: Pattaya News


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  1. Mike Frenchie

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    LOL – they have a budget of 2 million THB when the total missing money potentially not spent by foreigners is around 2000 billion THB/year! People in Pattaya, Phuket, Samui… are saved!

  2. Dirty Farang

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    TAT – shut down this comedy club or fire the whole management. Never saw such an unprofessional tourism management like TAT. TIT!

    • Karl Stragfhen

      Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      You’re so damn right. Let them now taste their own medicine. Learn to value tourists, expats in a much better way. Put down the fucking clown system with double pricing and let them understand that farangs are not stupid in their heads, some are, but will not be good with just them. Do this: Tone down racism against non-Thai, Think about free visa systems, same prices for everyone, etc. Then you should ask BUDDHA that the tourists want to return and not travel to other countries for example philliphies. GOOD LUCK TO THAILAND, FURTHER DREAM OF MASS TOURISM ESPECIALLY RICH TOURISTS, CERTAINLY NEED 500 BAHT !!! 555 WHAT A JOKE

    • DirtyFarang2

      Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      DirtyFarang, I wish I wouldve of thought of that name first

  3. Eddie

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Thai money to use in Thailand, and claim it would boost economy and tourism…What kind of magic is this? Where can I learn such magic?

    • David Ogonowski

      Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      My monies essentially come from abroad so yes it does help boost the economy . I would like clarification on the process for the 500 and will gladly do what I can do to help. Every little bit helps.

      • Patrick Nouvel

        Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 9:23 am

        Almost died of laugh this morning, thanks TAT always funny stats & announcements… Get us equal to TTogether, no xenophobia & racism, then the country get healthier. Why not, our money & investment of our life smelling so bad here? Better give 500 bth to poor starving jobless people. As said TAT looking for wealthies only.

  4. Neo

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    No need to give the 500 bhat.
    At least show some kindness to the tax paying expatriates by not imposing double standards.

    On HM Queens birthday I went to a National Park with my girlfriend. She got free entry while I was charged 400 baht.
    I have been paying tax here for over a decade and gets treated like a tourist. Not fair.

    • lootarzoon

      Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Dirty farang must pay to let the bad smell out

  5. Michael

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Tourism accounts for 20% of Thailand’s GDP, I read somewhere…So it is understandable for the government to invite Covid-Free tourists back. I don’t understand why the government is so eager to drive the existing Covid-Free tourist out? TAT and immigration needs to communicate and reconcile policy.

  6. Rein

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Maybe they give the 500 baht as they gave the 5000 baht to the poor families in Thailand. Nobody in our whole village have received a single baht.

    • JohnG

      Friday, September 4, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Odd. Nearly everyone in mine has!

  7. Geoff

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    I went to the Grand Palace last year. If my memory is correct, I paid 500bt admission. My girlfriend was free. (admission!)

  8. Andrew

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    “Foreigners sometimes pay 3 times the amount Thai nationals do.” Up to…10 times more.
    500 baht. WOW. Let’s go spending so much free money

  9. Glenn

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    geez louise, I was going to comment, but every time I try my mouth drops open in disbelief of the stupid. Sorry, best I can do with this one.

  10. Preesy Chepuce

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 2:05 am

    The only thing that will make tourists return is low prices, cheap insurance, and cheap hotels. Thailand is overpriced

  11. CHE

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:18 am

    Give me a bottle of Samsong instead. Manaos are on me!

  12. CHE

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:21 am

    Give me a bottle of Sangsom instead.
    Manaos are on me!

  13. Waverider

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Clutching at straw’s.

    There needs to be a whole change of attitude s. In the Gov.
    2 million expats live here all year round, spending money on their families etc.
    It does appear that Thais are good at shooting them selves in the foot or feet.
    Living up to the name Amazing Thailand.

  14. InnerCynic

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Funny. I’d get as far as the local eatery with the wife and kids… stop at 7-11 on the way home… Done!

  15. simon

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 8:13 am


    This year, people in Hong Kong, including expats who actually have rights including right to vote and right of abode, got given 10,000HKD (40,500THB). You know, because spare cash and everything. Considering tourist areas like Phuket, Bangkok, Samui, Pattaya are as expensive as Hong Kong now it makes this seem a bit pathetic.

    Try again Thai government.

  16. simon

    Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 8:18 am

    “Therefore, we need to promote our health, safety and confidence in tourism through the eye of the expats.”

    So Funny. Perhaps start with abolishing the two-tier pricing system and discourage racism and xenophobia – especially when it flows from the mouth of high-ranking officials.

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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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