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'Sell premium' - Thailand discourages discounts, wants high value tourists

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Thigh Land

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

We cannot let people come to Thailand and say because it's cheap...

That isn't Thailand's appeal. If you want "cheap," then go to Indonesia, Cambodia or Vietnam. Thailand means value. Typical is a hotel with a swimming pool near the beach or right downtown with all the mod-cons and with a great diverse menu in the restaurant that's always open -- $30-40 a night. Now you're talking!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When we've visited Thailand, we always stayed in suites with car service easily available. Sure, we'd eat a little street food and visit the local bazaar, but we also would eat at high-end restaurants almost every night. The suites were 1/5th what we'd pay elsewhere. Even the flight into Thailand was a crazy deal.

We don't travel internationally for beaches, plenty of those back home that are gorgeous.

It is about interacting with a different culture, seeing how similar and slightly different lives are, building experiences together and a little shopping. Just being away from the daily crap back home is nice too.

Perhaps Thailand wants more visitors like Sherif J.W. Pepper?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"We cannot let people come to Thailand and say because it's cheap," Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at an event at Bangkok's main international airport to promote tourism.

Snuck into Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight where the biz class seat was cheaper than the economy seats.

Ate at food courts often--50 baht a shot.

Took taxis and made the driver use the meter.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Thai always forget it was the backpackers who made it a popular destination around the world. Phuket was the wild west until backpackers went there. Backpackers stay longer and may even spend as much in the end.

Most importantly backpackers put the money where it is needed, in the hands of the poorer people, not in the hands of foreign hotel groups or rich Thais.

Koh Samui would not have an airport if it wasn't for backpackers.

I have often eaten street food in Thailand. I have eaten in upmarket places, too. I would only eat in an upmarket place full of Thais though. I avoid upmarket places full of foreign diners. The last time I ate in one I had to send some food back.

I also remember a Thai person laughing when I said that I thought street food was safer than hotel food. I asked him why he was laughing. He told me he laughed because I was so right. He said he used to work in a five star hotel and saw what happened in the kitchens. He added, remember this, that you should avoid buffets because all the dodgy stuff goes into them. Anthony Bourdain had the same theory. I believe he said the only time the whole film crew was knocked out was after the buffet breakfast at a chain hotel.

Next time I am in Thailand I will enjoy eating in the street, in night markets, and eating durian if it is in season.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's really considerate of the government to talk about "high value" and "quality". Too bad Thais cannot shake this "low quality" dictatorship of unelected/sham elected generals running slipshod over the very meaning of "quality" democracy.

Believe it or not, I've been to Thailand 7 times...and on two of those occasions I happened to personally witness a military coup against a popularly elected government! "Premium" indeed!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I see the idea but it’s like, people will put off Thailand and go somewhere at their budget instead. Perhaps the whales can tide them over in the millions of visitors that will be lost as a result of not catering to them

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thailand seems to have an awfully large proportion of single male travelers...

Is it the food they go for? Or the temples?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Strangely I was under the impression they were going for the stoners, and that was the whole reason for changing the drug laws.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I understand the idea. It's the whole "move up the value chain" kind of strategy. However, this is going to have to be very balanced. The Ministry should probably take a next step and try to figure out targets for Premium, Value, and Bargain tourism and then work towards those targets. E.g. we want Premium to be 30% of our tourism from the current X% by 2025.

The challenge is Thailand is known to be relatively inexpensive. I mean, if it is at Japan prices, maybe I just go to Okinawa. Or if I want SEA, I go to Vietnam instead. Or the Philippines.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The belief that you can have a small number of richer tourists and still benefit as before is incorrect. It misunderstands how tourism functions, economically.

Rich tourists spend differently to ordinary ones. If you focus on the rich ones, only a small number of high-end local companies will benefit, along with local branches of global luxury brands.

To get wide-ranging economic benefits from tourism, you need ordinary tourists, who spend money across a wide variety of ordinary venues, catering to everyone.

If the pandemic is being used to keep poor people at home and only allow the rich to go on holiday, the general economic benefits of mass tourism will never return. In Thailand, Japan or wherever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Thai always forget it was the backpackers who made it a popular destination around the world.

I would also add US military members, mid 60s to early 70s. They preceded the "hippy" scene in Bangkok and basically invented Pattaya.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Premium BL.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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