Thailand says it wants tourists, but it is shooting itself in the foot. I picked up one of those tourist magazines the other day and it had listings of places to go for the tourists. The (stupid) interesting thing was the dual pricing which was plainly printed for the tourists to see that they were going to pay something like twice the price of the Thais. Have you looked at this lately, Hillary? I thought it was against Thai policy on equality to have dual pricing. We certainly don’t have that in the UK. What is the real situation? Should we foreigners just refuse to pay, or what?
Double pricing is not something I agree with, but it is found in many countries, not just Thailand, my Petal. The original concept was to make the attraction affordable for the Thai tourists, but charge more for the foreign tourists as they can afford higher prices, so they are subsidizing the Thai customers. In countries like Thailand where there is a large difference between foreign tourists’ spending power and that of the local people, I can understand why double pricing exists. However, instead of publicly doubling the Thai entrance price, it would be so much better to state one ‘standard’ (foreign) admission price, but offer a 50 percent reduction for Thais. This idea of locals getting a 50 percent discount is more understandable for the tourists than doubling the price for the non-Thais. Of course, there will always be the problem of resident ex-pats who will not be happy at being asked to pay foreign tourist prices. For that group, some form of registration of the fact that they are living here such as a Thai driving license should be enough to convince the girl on the cashier’s desk, but it may take some sweet talking by a Thai partner. Best of luck.