Private hotels and hospitals in Thailand should not offer big discounts to attract tourists but should instead raise the country’s value as a “premium” travel destination, Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul stated yesterday, July 4th.
Reuters reported that Thailand has received about 2 million foreign visitors in the first six months of this year, steadily reviving after its tourism industry almost collapsed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its complex and costly entry requirements imposed for more than 18 months.
The Deputy Prime Minister stated during the opening ceremony of the ‘Thailand Moving Together’ tourism event at Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday: “We cannot let people come to Thailand only because it’s cheap or because they want a cheap place to stay. People should come to Thailand because they see the countries brand and upscale market value propositions, that’s where we can increase the country’s value and attract high-quality, high-spending, premium tourists.”
He compared this approach to luxury fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, saying “Hold to your true value and don’t discount. Sell for a premium. The more expensive, the more customers. Like Louis Vuitton, they don’t lower their prices at all and neither should Thailand businesses and instead focus on their premium selection and what distinguishes them from competitors in other countries.”
Thailand is one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations. In pre-pandemic 2019, the country received a record of nearly 40 million travelers, who spent a total of 1.91 trillion baht, equivalent to 11% of gross domestic product (GDP).
But in 2020, tourists plummeted to 6.7 million and down to 428,000 in 2021, despite attempts to end quarantine restrictions. It is expected that there will be 10 million foreign tourists by the end of 2022.
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