Businesses in Phuket and the Phuket Tourist Association are now anticipating the government’s Travel Together campaign will significantly boost the province’s economic activity, while warning hotels and other providers of accommodation, against increasing their prices despite receiving a subsidy.
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Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) President, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam has addressed reports of price gouging at some hotels, taking advantage of the government’s subsidy in the Travel Together campaign, making the final price guests have to pay higher than previously promoted.
He said hotels are implementing different pricing structures, saying that reports of price gouging may actually be from the sale of hotel vouchers, not from actual bookings, however hotel operators should use simplicity and honesty in their marketing campaigns, especially during this crisis, by transparently disclosing the actual full prices, and the final price guests will have to pay with the subsidy from the government subtracted.
With its economy relying heavily on tourism, Phuket province is facing an unprecedented crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With 14 million visitors last year generating 440-billion-baht revenue, the present lack of tourists has already caused some 200 billion baht in damage to local economies, according to the PTA estimate. The association expects the island province can at best generate 120 billion baht in revenue, if international tourists still cannot visit before the end of the year.
Given this situation, Phuket is now shifting its focus to domestic travelers. Some 35 tourism businesses in Phuket will be staging a travel fair at Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok from 30th July to 2nd August, offering tourism packages at special prices, as well as local delicacies, emphasizing to the general public that Phuket is now ready and eager to accept tourists.(NNT)