Double pricing at Pattaya Tourist Attractions, double pricing is not unique to Pattaya, double pricing policies are used throughout Thailand, and actually it is found in numerous places around the world. If you are not familiar with the double pricing policy used by most of the tourist attractions in Pattaya, let me first explain exactly what it is.
As a foreign tourist, or more precisely, as a foreigner, a non a resident of Thailand, you will be charged a higher entrance fee than a Thai resident. This double pricing policy is not used by all of Pattaya’s tourist attractions but it is fair to say that the majority do use it. “Double pricing” may be a misleading description, the amount is not always double but it varies from one attraction to the next. A more precise term would be “two tier pricing”.
Exceptions to Pattaya Tourist Attractions Double Pricing Policy.
If you can show proof of residency in Thailand, many of Pattaya’s tourist attractions will waiver the extra fee for foreigners, and you can enter for same price a Thai. Documentation needed to prove residency in Thailand varies from one attraction to the next, merely showing your Thai drivers license is adequate at some venues, some will only except a residence visa or a work permit.
Is the double/two tier pricing policy fair ?.
The double pricing policy is a subject of much debate and consternation among tourists and ex-pats in Pattaya. Many believe that “double pricing” is a racist policy, others accept it and think it is fair that Thais should be charged less due to their average wages being much less than most foreign tourists. If “two tier pricing” was to be justified on an ability to pay basis it may well seem unfair that a backpacker or families holidaying in Thailand on a tight budget often have to pay more than some “obviously wealthy” Thai people. Double pricing is often justified by government sponsored tourist attractions, they claim Thais are charged less because they pay local taxes, and the cheaper rates encourage them to travel and visit the attractions.
Negative aspects of double pricing.
- Their is often no notice to inform visitors that a a double pricing policy is employed, this can lead to confusion and bewilderment when a tourist realizes they have paid more than a Thai.
- Double pricing can and often has caused bad press for Thailand.
- Many visitors turn away upon realizing they are being charged more than Thais.
- It is often considered to be racist.
- It is said to be biased towards skin colour because it is easy for foreigners who have a similar appearance to Thais to easily slip through.
- Discourages visitors from returning.
Sometimes the double pricing policy seems to be borne out of pure greed, foreigners are charged a higher price simply because it is believed that all foreign tourists are rich, because we pay a higher price in our native countries it is deemed acceptable for us to pay a higher price in Thailand. No consideration is given to the fact that running costs, labour costs and raw materials costs are higher in our homeland, or the fact that many tourists visit Thailand because it supposedly inexpensive. Tourists don’t go to a 7-11 in Thailand and pay foreign prices so why should they pay foreign prices at privately owned tourist attractions, which, like 7-11 are private businesses.
Hypothetical view on Double pricing.
If Thailand was not visited by foreigners, and all the tourist attractions relied strictly on Thai visitors would there still be some form of means based two tier pricing policy employed ?. If not, what would be the price ?, would it be the price foreigners are charged at present, or would it be price Thais are charged at present ?.
Many of the more popular tourist attractions in Pattaya, including Mini Siam [see photo above] remain reasonably cheap despite the two tier pricing policy.
No “double pricing” at the Sanctuary of Truth, but the price is quite high, is this a representation of what we should expect if the double pricing policy is abolished in Thailand.
With obvious family appeal the Pattaya Dolphin Show could amount to a very expensive day out for a family with 3 or 4 children.
Conclusion on double pricing.
It’s a shame that the two tier pricing policy might sometimes inflate prices beyond many visitors budgets. Most of the tourist attractions in Pattaya are still reasonably cheap despite the double pricing. You could object and walk away on principle, but you only go on holiday once or twice a year. The fact is, double pricing is probably here to stay, you may not agree with it but don’t let it ruin your stay.
Pattaya Tourist Attractions Double Pricing Opinion Poll.
Poll results: Is Double Pricing Fair ?
No (81%, 22 Votes)
Yes (19%, 5 Votes)