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Hotels urged to stop dual pricing scheme to encourage expats in domestic tourism

4 Aug 2020

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports encourages Thailand hotels to offer fair packages to expatriates, thus avoiding price discrimination as the country aims to attract 2 million foreign residents to travel more domestically. 

 

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, said the ministry urged expatriate associations to travel domestically, rather than abroad, as they may face 14-day quarantines when they arrive at other destinations and then return to Thailand. 

The idea received some positive feedback from expatriates but there remain concerns about local feelings towards foreigners during the outbreak and overpriced accommodations. 

He said Thailand 's Tourism Authority is working with hoteliers and Thailand 's Tourism Council to ensure expatriates get the same hotel rates as local residents. 

The government has no stimulus measures for expatriates. 

Mr Phiphat has admitted that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports can not in the near future stop dual pricing at local attractions as they are under the jurisdiction of various ministries. 

He said 2 million expatriates normally go on overseas trips, particularly during holidays to other Southeast Asian countries, rather than within Thailand. 

"If expats who work here travel four times throughout the rest of the year in Thailand, that would entail eight million tourism industry trips," Mr Phiphat said. 

While residing in Thailand, the majority of expatriates tend to travel with family, play golf and shop, spending on average 6,000-8,000 baht per day, he said. This outlay is nearly twice as high as local travellers, who spend about 4,000 baht a day. 

Bang Kachao in Samut Prakan is a potential destination for expatriates, under the supervision of Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration. 

In the first half of this year, Thailand welcomed 6.69 million international tourists, a plunge of 66.2 per cent year-on-year, while international receipts fell by 65.2 per cent to 332 billion baht. Because of the challenging circumstances, he said the number of foreign arrivals this year will not exceed 9 million while domestic tourism is expected to count 80-100 million trips. 

"If we can boost domestic travel to 120 million trips, the goal for tourism revenue of 1.23 trillion baht this year can be achieved," Mr Phiphat said.

Source Bangkok Post