Tourism Authority of Thailand vows to eliminate dual pricing, considers introducing expat ID card
Expatriates may not be able to join tourism stimulus packages, but the government pledges to end dual pricing as soon as possible.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the We Travel Together stimulus campaign is carried out with budget from the Loan Act, which has a clear mandate and objectives that make it hard to include foreigners.
But the TAT will discuss stopping dual pricing for expatriates with the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, as well as famous tourism sites.
Mr Yuthasak said the move will let expats save money, allowing them to spend more as a key target to boost domestic tourism.
The agency wants to introduce an identity card to verify expats’ status, helping to distinguish them from tourists so they will be charged the same price as locals.
The expat travel card would be issued by the TAT. The agency hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding with each department that owns tourist attractions to fix a standard local price for those card holders permanently, not just during the pandemic.
The TAT also wants to improve its customer database about independent tourists here, Mr Yuthasak said.
“The key factor is we have to treat expats like locals, without discrimination or a negative attitude towards foreigners,” he said.
According to the TAT, 60% of 2 million expatriates living in Thailand come from Asia, of which 150,000 are Chinese, followed by Japanese (70,000) and South Koreans (20,000).
At present, the agency partners with Alipay and Fliggy — a travel platform from China — to promote domestic tourism campaigns for Chinese expats.