Let me get this right. It is the tourist discount card costing 100 Baht which you can save from 10-50% on the entrance fee or discount from over 50 tourist places such as attractions, activities, shows, restaurants, stores, and accommodations. And you can get the card from the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) in Pattaya, the TAT centre Bangkok, and any of the venues of the associate members. Tourists can use the card once a day everyday until it expires on 31 December 2009. One card can save fees or discount for up to 4 people.
It’s brilliant!!! But, unfortunately, only Thai citizens can purchase this card.
Now that’s ridiculous!!!
Honestly I shouldn’t complain because I am Thai. But most major tourist cities I had visited in the past few years were definitely promoting this kind of discount card in many varieties of ways.
In Munich, Germany, the discount card is called “The München Welcome Card” that visitors can use for free travel by MVV transport in the designated area as well as up to 50% saving on admission fees to 35 attractions.
In Paris, France, there are 2 similar discount card; “ParisVisite” and “The Paris Pass”. ParisVisite is a discount card to some attractions with unlimited rides on transportation system. While the Paris Pass is a saving card that once you buy, you can use for free entry to over 60 sights and attractions, special offers and benefits at selected restaurants and shops, free use of public transportation.
Chicago, IL, USA has 2 kinds of discount cards; “Chicago City Pass” and “Go Chicago Card”. Chicago City Pass is good for 5 major museums and can hold for up to 9 days. Whilst the Go Chicago Card is good for unlimited free admission to over 25 top attractions and tours as well as some top retailers and restaurants. All of these were sold to all tourists no matter what nationality. They were treated equally and thus we have to accept that Paris, Munich, and Chicago are top tourist destinations.
In my point of views, TAT should not discriminate foreign tourists and stop them from getting this tourist visa card. The card will be the least expensive way of promoting and advertising Pattaya and the rest of Thailand. The power of word-of-mouth advertising is tremendous. It’s not only promoting tourist attractions, shops, restaurants, shows, affordable accommodations we provide; it’s also promoting the innovative way for how we handle our tourism in the competitive markets.
CTV is a brilliant idea but it could be much better if it is offered to all tourists.
I would suggest TAT should do more to improve this card, for example; improve personal security (purchase with the name on it), bundle 5 main major attractions (or more) in one low price, improve transportation network between major tourist spots, offer student & youth tourist visa card to serve young domestic and international tourists (this can separate the 2 targets apart and easy to track down when doing financial report), invite more firms to join the card (water sports, adventure sports, outdoor sports, sport clubs, buses from Bangkok to Chonburi, gas stations, diving, golf courses, golf shops, car rental, zoos, gardens, spa, etc), raising the price or shortening its expiration date (1,3,5,7,15, 30-day pass or 3,6,12 months pass) to cater for occasional users which can help increase sale, etc.
I believe, in this economic crisis, it should help more on Thailand tourism and invite additional visitors to the country as well. Lastly, I read some info I’ve got from TAT.
Pattaya has 4 major festivals; Pattaya Music Festival which held in March, Lai Day, the Thai New Year or Songkran of the East, held in the mid of April, Pattaya Festival, also held in the mid of April, the event features are suc