Tourism officials push for “One Night, One Dollar” campaign in Phuket

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

“…have been suffering from the pandemic for 15 months now. Only mass tourism will save us.”

A night at a Phuket resort could drop down to just $1 USD. Tourism officials are pushing for a proposed campaign they call “One Night, One Dollar” to help draw travellers back to the popular tourist island as locals prepare for its July 1 reopening to vaccinated foreign tourists.

Rooms that are normally priced between 1,000 baht to 3,000 baht, around US$30 to $90 would be offered for $1 USD for a night under the plan. The costs would be subsidised by the government, according to president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, Chamnan Srisawat.

“TCT also discussed the idea with major wholesalers and online travel agents to prepare for the reopening of Phuket. And they are ready to help.”

Phuket is preparing reopening amid a wave of infections hitting record highs with 100,000 Covid-19 cases since April 1. Local officials in Phuket have set tight restrictions to combat the spread of the virus, even prohibiting small gatherings with friends, and have been accelerating the rollout of vaccines to reach herd immunity by the end of next month.

Before the pandemic back in 2019, Thailand welcomed around 40 million visitors from overseas and generated 190 billion baht in revenue. Last year, Phuket welcomed 6.7 million visitors, which was mostly during the first quarter before most of the travel restrictions were set.

This year, the island province is expected to welcome 500,000 visitors. With the proposed One Night, One Dollar campaign, Chamnan says that potentially 70,000 rooms on the island could generate 40 billion baht.

“However, the current wave of Covid-19 infection could (impact the) final decision. But we have been suffering from the pandemic for 15 months now. Only mass tourism will save us.”

The Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports will review the proposal before it is sent to the Cabinet for approval.


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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.


  1. The Thai government just doesn’t get it… Though out the civilized world ,but not Thailand, people are getting vaccinated with vaccines other than that cheap Sino-junk. Admittedly, it’s better than nothing at all. The Thai government , however, continues dragging its feet “approving” other vaccines that more advanced countries have approved for its citizens. So in these news plans, why continue with movement restrictions on tourist who can show proof to the required 2 vaccinations and provide negative test results taken within the last 72 hours ? By eliminating these restrictions, the projected number of visitors would at least triple. Also, the real danger for new infections mostly come from within…..untested migrant workers smuggled in as cheap labor, sex workers sneaking across the border to Myanmar or Cambodia casinos, and illegals sneaking in across these same borders. Then of course, we have the “entitled” Thais who feel that the restrictive rules are for the disadvantaged poor, not them, and they can continue to skirt the rules.

  2. Because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency and 88% of all forex transactions are done in USD. By contrast, 4% of global forex transactions are done in RMB. Sorry your butt hurts.

  3. It’s “empathy for the dollar” and I highly doubt a Brit would ask the question using “yuan” as the currency. Nice try. Slugger our CCP apologist aside. I could care less about getting one night for a dollar. If Thailand is serious about getting people to visit come July they need to give out the details on requirements and restrictions now. No more screwing around. It’s barely a month away and people plan further in advance than that.

  4. Mass tourism ain’t coming anytime soon, so another poorly written and researched article. Most origins that have supported Phuket in the past still have borders closed , Asian countries in particular……they could give rooms away and there would be no takers, Domestic tourists perhaps but many of them are wary of high prices in restaurants , bars and local transport

  5. ” Open amid a wave of infections hitting record highs”. No possible problem with that…let’s go. No….seriously….I won’t. I treasure my health. A ‘ buck a night’? I’d rather be alive 15 months from now. A single dollar isn’t worth thinking about. Make it free, offer me a thousand dollars to show up…I still wouldn’t come.

  6. 500,000 visitors, from the first of July.

    Let’s say the airplanes will average with 150 passengers. Then 18 daily flights is needed, to come close to the 500K.

    Likely, well up to the future to tell us, although, I’ve a question for the engineers; will HKT be able to service for that many international [inc. all domestic] flights?

    Also, last week they expected each visitor would spend 200K and now down to 80K, maybe they found their calculator so 😉 now they also need to understand that most people doesn’t do solo travels to the shores of Phuket.

  7. If you just opened up your borders without any pointless paperwork and stopped with the stupid mask wearing, bear baiting of farangs at the pub, field jails or hospitals whatever then the average western tourist would pay significantly more than $1 a night.

    Think Thailand…think!

  8. @Edward V, spot on comments. I know of at least 12 people who are wanting to make use of the Phuket Sandbox in July. They are ready to fly in from the U.K., Holland, Australia, U.S and Norway. Everyone of these guys is saying the same thing. We can’t book anything until we know the requirements and conditions of onward gravel around Thailand. The key one is does it have to be direct flights in to Phuket or will they allow “controlled transit” in bkk? If they will, then does it have to be a direct flight to BKK? There a few direct flight and those that are showing are crazy prices. Many of these people also wish to stay in other parts of Thailand following the 10 or 14 days in Phuket and don’t wish to quarantine in BKK or Udon or Chiangmai when they leave Phuket. Will this be allowed? Will expensive PCR tests have to be bought before flying and while there? We are just over a month away and absolutely nothing from the government other than aspirational talk. The Thai Embassey website hasn’t updated anything on this since August 2020

  9. @Slugger – a british junta fan boy how disgusting is that. A selfish disgusting British who support the destruction of Thailand and support their opressors. You must have really a low life disgusting mindset.

  10. This might be a TAT or tits plan.
    But hoteliers won’t do it, because low – so tourists dont eat in the hotels. There are no other revenue streams.
    And it goes against basic thai economic law: lower demand requires massive price increases.

  11. I read this as 1 night for a dollar and the other 6-13 (or whatever) nights at the usual Phuket high price.
    Would that actually affect anyone’s thoughts of Phuket as a destination?

  12. 11 months ago:

    “Once the nation’s borders are reopened and so-called “travel bubbles” are agreed upon, marketing efforts will target wealthier individuals who want holidays with minimal risks.”

    The Thaiger “Tourism minister says pandemic provides “opportunity to reset tourism sector””

  13. These people at TAT live in some parralel universe, we’re do they think all these tourists are coming from, it’s summer in Europe at the moment and there is still restrictions on travel there,why would you come to Phuket in the rainy season and most places are closed never to reopen.

  14. So pathetic. So desperate. It’ll be scrapped onto the heap tomorrow with all the other failed “schemes”. Tourist industry: your incompetent masters are killing you if they haven’t already.

  15. @Toby Andrews – Phuket and Thailand priced themselves out of the global market long ago. The dream fog has cleared. The reputation of racist arrogant treatment of foreign guests will give travelers pause for years to come. Question: What does Thai offer that I can’t get anywhere in Europe at lower cost and more convenient flight times? Answer: Nothing. Thai pussy is common in beer bars anywhere at lower prices. They’re advertised from Dubai to Helsinki….even Africa.

  16. Agreed @J West. I have several reasons to return to Thailand including a condo and a share of a business. If not then I certainly wouldn’t return for en how the attitude of the country has changed towards foreigners. In terms of beaches and beauty spots, Malaysia and Vietnam are just as good. KL is a fantastic City as are Hanoi and HCM. I’m not just having a go for the sake of it with Thailand. They really do need to address it or lose what they spent years building up. Part of the problem is the current government of course.

  17. One Dollar one day?

    Better to go Bankrupt – how on Earth can any establishment pay for its overheads?

    Is this really the best that all these clever clogs and hotel associations can come up with?

  18. Brain Dead, it does say they want the government to make up the difference.
    I’m also pretty sure it would only be one night provided you booked multiple nights.
    But I can’t see it working.

  19. Bunch of old miserable farangs complaining about everything in these comments. You’re pathetic. Good Thailand, you’re trying. You’re trying to get people in. I’ll be there.

  20. Covid-19 crisis is far from over,as more deaths are happening each day with thousands of infections.Yet,the tourist officials can think of promoting travel that may cause more infections to occur,wasting public funds to offer such ridiculous low “one night,one dollar”

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