Govt plans to charge foreigners more than Thais for hotel rooms
Foreign tourists may soon find Thailand a more expensive destination than in the past two years with the country now planning to raise hotel rates to pre-pandemic levels to support a faster recovery of the industry.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry plans to ask hotel operators to implement a dual-pricing plan under which foreign visitors may be charged rates similar to pre-pandemic days while locals may continue to enjoy discounted rates, Traisuree Taisaranakul, a government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
“This is to maintain our standards of rates and services for foreign tourists, which affects the perception of the country’s tourism brand,” Ms Traisuree said. “Rates that have been reduced during Covid-19 will be maintained for Thais to sustain the momentum of domestic tourism.”
Hotels in tourism hotspots such as Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui continue to offer huge discounts to draw back visitors after the pandemic pushed room occupancy rates to about 30%.
While there was no immediate response to the proposal from hotel operators, the ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand will soon hold talks with the Hotel Association of Thailand about the dual pricing plan, according to Ms Traisuree.
While the country has scrapped all Covid-related travel restrictions, the tourism sector is still reeling from heavy losses accumulated during the pandemic. The government expects 9.3 million foreign arrivals this year, a fraction of the 40 million tourists who arrived in 2019.
It was not immediately clear how the government's new plan to attract more foreign tourists to Thailand - by raising prices and charging them more than Thais - would impact foreigners living in the kingdom.
Learn from listening
- accumulate: to get more and more of something over a period of time - เก็บสะสม, สะสม, สั่งสมมานาน
- discounted: (of a price or rate) reduced - ชักส่วนลด,ทำให้น้อยลง
- dual-pricing: charging one group of people a different price than another -
- fraction (noun): a small part of something - ส่วนน้อย, จำนวนเล็กน้อย
- impact (verb): to have an effect or influence on someone/something - มีผลกระทบ
- implement: to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used - นำแผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ, นำมาใช้
- momentum: progress or development that is becoming faster or stronger - แรงผลักดัน
- perception: a particular way of understanding or thinking about something - ความเข้าใจ
- reeling (verb): feeling very shocked, upset or confused - ตกตะลึง
- sustain: to keep; to continue - รักษาไว้