Hotel rooms for $1: Thailand Is Proposing To Attract Tourists Back

Thailand is trying to attract tourists back to its popular resort island of Phuket. Fully vaccinated international travellers can visit Phuket quarantine-free beginning July 1, which is three months earlier than the rest of the country.

The country’s tourism council has proposed a new “one night, one dollar,” campaign with participating hotels to attract more tourists. Yes, you read that right.

Under the campaign, guests would pay US $1 per night for accommodations on places that would typically run between 1,000 and 3,000 baht ($32 and $96) nightly.

To entice tourists back, the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) has proposed a new ‘One Night, One Dollar’ campaign, which would see participating hoteliers offering room rates of US$1 per night to foreign guests for accommodations that would typically run somewhere between 1,000 baht (US$32) and 3,000 baht (US$96) per night.

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TCT president Chamnan Srisawat said he expects that, with a total of 70,000 rooms available on the island, nearly one million room nights would be offered up for booking at a dollar a piece, which should generate around 40 billion baht in July to support hotels and other tourism services.

Srisawat told TTG Asia that cost discrepancies would be subsidized by the Thai government if the plan is green-lit. “TCT also discussed the idea with major wholesalers and online travel agents to prepare for the reopening of Phuket. And they are ready to help,” he said. The scheme has been submitted to both the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and will be put forth for consideration by the cabinet in June.

If the ‘One Night, One Dollar’ promotion yields positive results in Phuket, the government and private-sector tourism players may look to implement the same strategy in other popular tourism areas, such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Koh Samui.

“However, the current wave of COVID-19 infection could (impact the) final decision. But we have been suffering from the pandemic for 15 months now. Only mass tourism will save us,” Srisawat said.

Set to be the first Thai city to reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists in July, Phuket is expected to welcome 500,000 visitors through year-end, much lower than the 6.7 million arrivals in 2020, mainly from the first quarter.

In 2019, prior to the pandemic, Thailand received nearly 40 million visitors, generating 190 billion baht (US$60 billion) in revenue.