The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently held meetings with local authorities and the private sector in Chiang Mai, discussing ways to minimise online operators selling tours at lower prices.
Mr. Santi Chudintra, Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific said the meeting addressed online price undercutting issues, especially in China’s online marketplace.
“The rise of independent travellers, who prefer to create their own itineraries and trips, make online platforms vulnerable to unscrupulous operators. Some online travel agents are taking advantage of the increased demand by selling tours at lower prices, thus creating unfair conditions in the marketplace,” he added.
TAT also invited the Online Tourism Club Thailand to share its first-hand experiences on how it successfully addressed the same problems in Bangkok and Pattaya.
Established in January, 2017, the Online Tourism Club Thailand is made up of 44 members who represent tour operators and attractions across the country. It promotes standard pricing and rate parity for its members via the Club’s communication channels.
TAT is also helping to promote the Club’s practices in the Chinese market.
“Tour operators and attractions across Chiang Mai have agreed to follow the practices of the Online Tourism Club Thailand to address the same issue in the Northern Thai city,” Mr. Santi said.
In 2016, Chiang Mai welcomed 2.8 million international arrivals, including 900,000 travellers from China.