As many of you know, I am a full time travel blogger here in Thailand. It is part of my job to look for new tourist attractions and to help promote them to travellers from around the world. I do this on my network of blogs as well as on social media. I have been promoting Asiatique The Riverfront in Bangkok even before it was opened to the public. I have recommended it to many people. Now it looks like I can no longer help promote Asiatique. Not because I don’t like them any more. It is because they decided to block me from their Facebook Page. Yes, you heard right, Asiatique decided to block one of their most frequent promoters among the foreign community.
Today was the grand opening for Asiatique’s Ferris wheel which has been dubbed Asiatique SKY. If you have been following my blogs you would know that I have been promoting Asiatique’s new 60 meter high Ferris wheel for a while now. I think so far I have been the only person promoting the big wheel in English. I have also tweeted about it and so I am sure that there are quite a few people who were eager to give it a go. So, why did Asiatique decide to block me from their Facebook page? The reason is simple. I questioned the reasoning behind their decision to charge foreigners more than Thais to go on the wheel. After all, the exact same Ferris wheel was also built in Paris and the French don’t charge extra for foreigners.
It all started the other day on their Facebook page when they wrote in Thai: เด็ก 150 บาท, ผู้ใหญ่ 200 บาท, ชาวต่างชาติ 250 บาท. This basically translates as 150 Baht for children, 200 Baht for adults and 250 Baht for foreigners. I know other attractions have dual pricing, but this is now the 21st Century and I was really hoping that Asiatique would lead the way. What is more strange is that we are just talking about an extra 50 Baht. For a measly 50 Baht they decided to risk the displeasure of foreigners? Anyway, I translated the prices into English on their Facebook page and asked why they were charging foreigners more. Next thing I knew, both Thais and foreigners were calling for a boycott. That is when my comments were deleted and I was blocked from their Facebook page.
I will still try and promote new events and attractions at Asiatique as that is my job. But, as I am now blocked from Asiatique, it might not be so easy for me to help them any more.
If you want to voice your opinion about dual pricing at Asiatique, then feel free to do so on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Asiatique.Thailand.
3rd UPDATE: At first Asiatique was proud to promote the big wheel. Then, once people started talking about boycotting Asiatique, they began to distance themselves by saying that the wheel is really owned by a “farang”. (For those who don’t know, that is a white-faced foreigner.) Now they are removing all pictures from their Facebook front page that show images of the big wheel. Isn’t that like burying your head in the sand & hoping that the problem will go away?
2nd UPDATE: There are now 100’s of negative comments all over Asiatique’s Facebook page. Many people calling for a boycott.
1st UPDATE: Since I posted this blog, here are a few comments on their Facebook page:
Sean Snider: Wow, dual pricing from a business that should be leading Thailand into the 21st century. I was considering coming to check out Asiatique, but no more, as long as foreigners are discriminated against. Furthermore, I will discourage others from patronizing your business until your policy changes.
Florian Witulski: ridiculous charging foreigners more, will advise everyone to avoid Asiatique completely
Arend Van Dorp: I hear that you are charging Thai and foreigners different prices. And when they complain on your page you delete and block their comments. That will only get you more bad publicity!!! Learn to treat people equally!!!
Massimo Scozzaro: i agree too…as long as you use double standard we will not visit your center, pls remove the double price
Greg Jorgensen: Complaining about dual pricing usually has very little effect on the small-minded, but agree with the above – best to just actively discourage visiting friends from going, as I’ve always done.
Brian Taff Jenkins: Looks like you have upset a few people with your dual pricing and deleting posts. Unfortunately a lot of the people you have upset have a big voice on the Internet. You have lost my business and that of the people I would normally reccomend to go there too