Thailand may be seeing the beginning of the end to a subject that angers many visitors and residents in the kingdom, dual pricing for foreigners and tourists.
Thailand’s new Minister for Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakarn was speaking to Thai reporters about what needs to be done to stimulate the tourism sector specifically.
He said that prices for Thais and tourists at historical and heritage sites like the ruins of Sukhothai and Ayuthaya ought to be the same. However, it was unclear if he would actually institute a plan to address this or take any action or if he was expressing a personal opinion regarding the pricing.
He also addressed multiple items that were important to him which include:
– International sporting events like the Moto GP motorcycle race in Buriram. He said that hosting international sporting events not only brings in visitors but introduces the country to the competitors and their teams. Pattaya specifically is working on becoming a Sports City. He said that those who come with the athletes such as family, friends, coaches, etc. also spend quite a bit at tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and bars. Hosting E-Sports could also be a good idea, he said, as Thailand has become a centerpiece for E-Sports in the last few years.
-The same could also be true of medical tourism as it was not just the sick who would be coming to Thailand but their families and friends who would stay in hotels, go to restaurants and visit tourist attractions Pipat stated.
-Looking after the welfare of tourists was his number one priority, he said, with the safety of visitors top of his list. He intends to work closely with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Tourist Police Bureau in the training of volunteers to ensure this.
-Environmental issues are also important with the need to preserve Thailand’s natural beauty and limit plastic use. He set a target of 50% reduction in plastics.
-Online applications also need to be updated, improved and readied for use as a matter of priority to ensure that Thailand keeps up with modern technology related to tourism.