Holiday prices to Thailand are being slashed up to half price in a bid to encourage Brits to return to the country following the outbreak of political violence earlier in the year.
A spokesperson for tour operator Travelmood, said: “Thai hotels and resorts moved quickly after the political unrest, offering phenomenal savings and special offers to attract tourists back. As our figures are demonstrating, this strategy appears to have paid off and the great news for holidaymakers is that there are still great bargains to be had on holidays to Thailand.”
Travel specialist Kuoni, said that it has also seen a “steady but positive” increase in bookings to Thailand over the past month.
According to Joanna Cooke, the UK marketing manager for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the number of British visitors to Thailand actually increased by 4.6 per cent between January and June, compared with the same period last year. The Post Office also confirmed that sales of Thai baht were up by 5 per cent up over the same period. However, Mrs Cooke said a big reduction in holiday prices could damage the country in the long term.
“We don’t want operators and hoteliers to reduce prices too much as we need to think about the future,” she said. “Average room rates have dropped quite a bit – it is difficult as they are under pressure and with so many hotels vying for custom there is huge competition.”
Albert Van Walbeek, chairman of the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA), warned that it might take up to four years to achieve the same average room rates as last winter if these heavily discounted offers continue.
“Thailand is arguably the best-value destination in Asia now – without price cutting,” he said. “These will only create more challenges for tourism organisations that have already suffered low occupancy and demand due to the political crisis.”
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*Premium £20.82 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual aged under 36 taking out a ‘Standard’ Backpacker 24/7 travel insurance policy for 2 months in Asia. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (August 2010) and are subject to change.