Regulations of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation National Park have announced dual-pricing entry fees for national parks, forest parks, botanical gardens and arboretums. Effective from 7th June.
The announcement shows a continuation of the long-standing dual pricing policy with foreigners being asked to pay higher fees, in this case, five times those asked of Thai people.
For example the cost for Thai children is 10 THB, but for non-Thais 50 THB. For adults the fee will be 20 THB, but 100 THB for foreigners. Thai Seniors over 60 years of age are free, whereas foreigners still pay the 100 THB fee.
A common reaction to dual pricing policies from ex-pats is for them to say they will simply stay away from these attractions. Dual pricing for long-term residents is one of the most contentious aspects of living in Thailand for many ex-pats who comment about their significant financial contributions to the Thai economy.
In 2020 Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the TAT would discuss stopping dual-pricing for expatriates with the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department. Mr Yuthasak then said the move will let expats save money, allowing them to spend more as a key target to boost domestic tourism.
He said the agency wants to introduce an identity card for expats, helping to distinguish them from tourists so they will be charged the same price as locals.
“The key factor is we have to treat expats like like, without discrimination or a negative attitude towards foreigners,” he said. However these intentions appear to have fallen on deaf ears, especially those of national park officials.
Dual pricing is not just a Thai phenomenon with many countries having such practices, albeit more subtle and much more restrained than Thailand’s national park policies. This link comments further on this issue