Dual pricing, demanding higher prices for goods and services based on nationality or residency, continues to be a hot topic in Thailand.
Although Thailand is not the only country where this happens, the practice is often a red flag for foreigners here, especially expats. When the sign at a national park shows that they must pay more because they are not Thai, they drive away.
Some expats don’t care so much about foreign tourists, but believe that their Thai domicile, should mean they pay the same as Thai citizens. Others take the stance that there should be no discrimination and that everyone should be treated equally.
Officially dual pricing is largely ignored, although clearly displaying the prices at markets, food stalls, restaurants and the like is mandated. Although tourism officials have made vague comments about the need to discourage dual pricing, it remains widespread.
This is a link to a website that highlights dual pricing businesses and services in Thailand – https://2pricethailand.com Our header graphic is an example from this site of a Pattaya golf course.
A common strategy when a savvy foreigner suspects that the price will be cheaper for a Thai person, is to send a Thai partner or friend ahead to check out the price while they stay in the background.
Dual pricing at golf courses is now on the radar of local golfers, perhaps highlighted with discounted costs being offered during the current absence of tourists.
When a Hua Hin golf course offered free green fees for vaccinated Thai players (only, not foreigners) plus an 18 hole deal which is openly promoted as 450 THB more for foreign golfers, the blood of local expats began to boil!
These offers do not differentiate between locals and tourists (who may be Thais from Bangkok or elsewhere), but are based on nationality alone.
Some recent commentators have expressed their anger as follows:
“I made reference to certain advertising they (the golf course) gave out and she told me to go home. That’s how it is at that golf course. It’s racist, always has been.”
“Possibly not enough golfing tourists here anymore, no one to rip off.”
“Amazing from a club which current relies on Farangs at the moment to keep the course open!
“A slap in the face to its Farang members and non members, won’t be getting any of my money.”
“Vote with your feet and boycott.”
“Let’s just hope that the local golf societies see this racist discrimination.”
“I am happy to announce that I enjoy playing golf at anti- covid- apartheid- courses.”
“So vaccinated farangs are not supporting this fight against Covid – they are still just dirty farangs?”
So which of these options do you think is fair and reasonable?
- Everyone is charged the same, including during special promotions
- Locals, including foreign expats, may be offered lower prices than tourists, regardless of nationality
- Foreigners pay more than Thai people