Asiatique public relations disaster? (updated)

Asiatique public relations disaster? (updated)

The opening of the 60-metre Asiatique Sky wheel at the night bazaar turned into disaster when the foreign community learned they must pay more to ride. Update: Dual pricing now rescinded

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Asiatique's new Asiatique Sky observation wheel. Photo from the Asiatique Facebook page

Evening update (18:00)

Dual pricing for Asiatique Ferris wheel rescinded

The European owners of ASIATIQUE SKY, the new Ferris Wheel at the Asiatique Riverfront, have just announced via Facebook that all adults will be paying 250 baht per ride regardless of nationality. In the lengthy announcement it was clear that the move was prompted by a never-ending stream of complaints through the social media.

You can find the announcement here:

rescind – to officially state that a law, contract, decision, policy, etc. is no longer valid ยกเลิก,  เพิกถอน
regardless of
– without being affected or influenced by anything else that happens or exists โดยไม่คำนึงถึง
nationality – the official right to belong to a particular country สัญชาติ,เชื้อชาติ, ชนชาติ
prompted – caused ก่อให้เกิด
social media – the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์

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Asiatique public relations disaster?

Watch this story in the coming days. It will be interesting to see how the management deals with a public relations problem of its own making.

Asiatique, the Riverfront has quickly won the reputation of being one of Bangkok's best new attractions. It is located right on the Chao Phraya river near the Saphan Taksin BTS station and it features an open air shopping mall and a night bazaar with numerous eating places and entertainment spots.

Things were supposed to get even better with yesterday's opening of a huge 60-metre Wheel, but it hasn't quite worked out that way.

The problem is not the product. Most people say it's great. Instead it is the pricing. No, it's not overly expensive, but, for some reason, the Asiatique Sky management has decided to charge foreigners 50 baht more than Thais.

When well-known traveller blogger Richard Barrow, up until now a big booster of Asiatique, posted a question on the Asiatique Facebook page asking about the reasoning behind the dual-pricing policy, he was promptly blocked.

Not a good idea. Word spread quickly through twitter and Facebook and soon the Asiatique page was being bombarded with complaints and calls for a boycott.

As of this morning, the complaints were still coming in faster than they could be deleted. You can see for yourself at

You can also keep up to date through Richard Barrow's blog and on twitter @RichardBarrow

Here are a few of the comments on Asiatique's Facebook page from this morning:

Double pricing is ridiculous. Shame on you!

Why are you charging foreigners a different price?

When I visit Thailand, I will not spend my money at Asiatique due to this unfair and discriminatory business practice against foreign customers. Please change your policy immediately.

My Thai fiancée and I had planned to visit Asiatique this week. We will no longer be doing so, and we will not visit in the future until the dual pricing policy is changed. Furthermore, I will continue passing this information to others in order to make them aware of it.

Just amazing! Rather than face it and reconsider your pricing strategy, you ban one of the most influential bloggers in Thailand. He was doing nothing but add extra value to your business at no cost. I personally would not have learned about your Ferris wheel attraction if it were not for him.

public relations – the business of giving the public information about a particular organisation or person in order to create a good impression งานประชาสัมพันธ์
disaster – an extremely bad situation ความโชคร้าย
management – the people who run and control a business or similar organisation คณะผู้บริหาร
reputation – the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is ชื่อเสียง
attraction – something that creates interest and brings people to see it  การดึงดูดความสนใจ
feature – to include someone or something as an important part มีบทบาทสำคัญใน
bazaar – a street or an area of a town where there are many small shops ตลาดที่ขายของหลากหลายชนิด
numerous – many มากมาย
booster – supporter ผู้สนับสนุน
dual-pricing – charging one group of people a different price than another
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
promptly – in an immediate or quick way ทันที
block – to prevent someone from doing something, in this case, using a website  ปิดกั้น
spread – to (cause to) cover, reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people แพร่กระจาย, แพร่กระจายไปทั่ว
bombard – to ask someone so many questions, give them so much information etc that it is difficult for them to deal with it all ระดม (คำถาม ความคิด คำวิจารณ์) เข้าใส่
complaint – when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
boycott – a refusal to take part in an activity or to buy a product as a way of expressing strong disapproval การคว่ำบาตร
ridiculous – silly or unreasonable and deserving to be laughed at น่าขัน, น่าหัวเราะ, ไร้สาระ
shame on you – you should feel ashamed (ละอายใจ, รู้สึกผิด) บัดสี  
due to – because of เนื่องจาก
discriminate – to treat one person or group worse/better than another in an unfair way  เลือกปฏิบัติกับ
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
fiancée – the woman that a man is engaged to, i.e., the woman he has promised to marry คู่หมั้นหญิง
furthermore – in addition; more importantly นอกจากนี้, ยิ่งกว่านี้, มากไปกว่านี้
aware – to know that something exists, or to have knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
amazing – very surprising น่าพิศวง, ซึ่งทำให้ประหลาดใจ
reconsider – to think again about a decision in order to decide whether you should change it พิจารณาอีกครั้ง
strategy – a plan or method for achieving something, especially over a long period of time ยุทธวิธี, แผนการ  
ban – to officially say that someone is not allowed to do something   ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
influential – of a person who has the power to affect a situation มีอิทธิพล

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