Is double-pricing fair? It is perhaps the most common complaint by many foreigners living or staying in Thailand for a longer period of time calling it a racist practice. The Phuket News has now made a new poll to hear people’s opinion.
Should some people pay more than others for entry to Thailand’s National Parks?
The controversial practice is labeled as racist by many foreigners, who argue that it perpetuates economic discrimination over one group, to the advantage of another group, solely on the basis of race. The policy and practice of double-pricing is particularly represented in national parks in Thailand.
Unlike double-pricing standards in other countries like the US, where “local” discounts are offered to anyone who can prove residency – regardless their skin color or facial features – in Thailand, the sole “fee-entitlement” factor is one’s race or nationality – whether or not you are Thai.
According to the Department of National Parks, having a work permit, permanent residency or paying income tax does not entitle any non-Thai national to the same rights as Thais.
This means that all foreigners are obligated to pay entrance fees as much as 10 times more than Thais (B400 vs B40 at some national parks).
And while officers at some parks have reportedly been fair in giving “local” discounts to foreigners who can show a work permit, Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN), Thai Driver’s License or even the ability to speak Thai – these have only been the exceptions, not the rule.
The Department of National Parks claims that they are not asking foreigners to pay more, but rather, offering discounts to promote domestic travel among Thais, a majority of whom are poorer than foreign tourists and expats.
In the new poll, made by the Phuket News, they want to hear people’s opinion about double-pricing at national parks in Thailand – both Thai and foreign nationals.
The options are:
1. It’s fair. Thais should be able to pay less than foreigners, it’s their country.
2. It’s okay, but it shouldn’t be 5-10 times more for foreigners.
3. Tourists should pay more, but expats should pay the same as Thais (residency not race).
4. I don’t agree with the racist practice at all. Everyone should pay the same rate.
Have your say. Click here to vote in the poll made by the Phuket News, which ends on March 20.
Source Phuket News: