Hoteliers Speak Out Against Government’s Plan to Set Dual Prices

Hoteliers have criticized the government’s plan to establish dual prices for foreign and local tourists, saying it is an “impractical” move.

According to Thai Hotels Association President Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, implementing dual pricing would not benefit the industry, as room rates change dynamically based on market conditions.

Prices rise automatically when demand increases to support hotel occupancy, she said, adding that hotels often use different strategies at each level.

According to a government spokesperson’s Wednesday announcement, hotel operators would be required to define a dual-tariff system that will allow international visitors to pay pre-pandemic costs while keeping locals’ rates at lower levels.

However, “every hotelier would like to operate with higher and fair rates to gain a larger margin, but it is difficult to do so because of heated competition and oversupply. Operators have to use pricing strategy to gain cash flow,” Mrs. Marisa stated.

Hotel operators have also called on the government to implement effective promotions to stimulate tourism sentiment and attract more guests even if rates rise.

Mrs. Marisa asked the administration to carry out national campaigns in conjunction with the association to offer special prices for Thais and increase domestic travel besides launching a tourism plan focused on the international market.

Suksit Suvunditkul, head of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter, explained that hotels often provide discounted rates for Thai citizens and standard prices for international guests. However, they cannot raise prices to pre-pandemic levels because the hotel demand remains too weak.

The rates for hotel room occupancy in Phuket are still 30–40% lower than in 2019. Also, a full recovery is not anticipated for the coming peak season, as around 50% of local hotels are still closed and the tourist volume has only risen to 30% of the pre-Covid level.

Mr. Suksit recommended that the government continue to implement the “We Travel Together” hotel subsidy scheme until the end of the year to maintain the domestic tourism momentum, insisting that increasing rates could lead local travelers to seek destinations outside the country.

Tourism Council of Krabi’s president Charintip Tiyaphorn also spoke against the dual pricing proposal, saying the move could create a negative tourist image.