‘I don’t think it’s fair’: Hotels dismiss call to charge foreigners more than Thais

Photo: Naithonburi Beach Resort / Facebook
Photo: Naithonburi Beach Resort / Facebook

Several hotels today rejected a proposal to formalize dual-pricing at hotels as discriminatory and counterproductive.

After the Tourism and Sports Ministry announced it would encourage hotels nationwide to charge foreign nationals higher rates, three hotel representatives today dismissed the proposal as unhelpful and unfair.

“Personally, I don’t see how this would help,” Anchalee Sriwongsa, spokesperson for Outrigger Resorts, told Coconuts. “The tourism sector should be a globalized thing. I don’t see how it’s fair that Thais should have to pay lower rates as opposed to foreigners. Foreigners have a lot to pay already in terms of travel expenses.”

On Wednesday, the ministry said it would ask hotels to raise rates for foreign visitors to the level they were before COVID-19 decimated the industry while providing discounts to Thai guests.

Nutnicha Limpanasumarn, spokesperson for Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, said it was a bad idea.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Nutnicha commented. “Whether we are Thai or foreigner, we should all pay the same rates.”

The ministry proposal did not spell out whether foreign nationals living in the kingdom would be asked to pay more as well. For years, foreign residents have railed against such so-called dual-pricing schemes, which have been enforced for years at government-managed tourist attractions such as national parks and museums. Foreigners are charged upward of 10 times the regular entry fee to enter national parks.

Sheraton Hotel spokesperson Guntapitch Rodpun said that, unless they receive a direct order to charge guests more based on their citizenship, international brands such as Sheraton would be unlikely to change their policies.

“While several hotels may have implemented a separate pricing structure for Thai nationals and foreigners in the past, we have never had that kind of pricing structure,” Guntapitch said. “Although we have not received any direct proposal, our hotels have always featured universal rates for Thai nationals and foreigners alike.”

Tourism Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said he would meet with the Thai Hotels Association to discuss the plan. An association representative reached by phone Thursday said they were unaware of the proposal.

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