Tour pack­ages slashed for low sea­son

Fire sales help firms de­spite low mar­gin


Hun­dreds of travel com­pa­nies are set to launch heav­ily dis­counted pack­ages called “Pro Fai Mai” to boost out­bound tourism this year.

The name refers to fire sales, a term for when goods are sold at a deep dis­count be­cause of a fire or other emer­gen­cies.

Adith Chairat­tananon, vice-pres­i­dent of the Thai Travel Agents As­so­ci­a­tion (TTAA), said ex­tra-cheap Pro Fai Mai tour pack­ages will be of­fered through­out the year to in­crease busi­ness dur­ing the lowsea­son pe­ri­ods.

Mr Adith said tour op­er­a­tors gen­er­ally of­fer such ex­treme dis­count pack­ages dur­ing three low-sea­son pe­ri­ods of the year: from mid-Jan­uary to mid-March; from May to June; and in Novem­ber.

“Th­ese three pe­ri­ods are the low sea­son for the travel busi­ness and force op­er­a­tors to deal with tougher com­pe­ti­tion,” he said.

The Pro Fai Mai tour pack­age be­came more pop­u­lar among Thai tourists two years ago when travel op­er­a­tors who could not sell out pack­ages were forced to cut prices 3-5 days ahead of the sched­uled travel.

Nor­mally, a fully-booked tour pack­age con­sists of 35 trav­ellers, but some pro­grammes may fall short of par­tic­i­pants, forc­ing op­er­a­tors to of­fer fire sales. This mar­ket­ing tac­tic can help them to sur­vive, de­spite low mar­gins.

Mr Adith said the Pro Fai Mai strat­egy is mainly ap­plied to the out­bound mar­ket, fo­cus­ing on des­ti­na­tions that do not re­quire visa ap­pli­ca­tions such as Ja­pan, South Ko­rea, Tai­wan, Sin­ga­pore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

TTAA said a num­ber of tour op­er­a­tors are dis­play­ing heav­ily dis­counted tour pack­ages on their web­sites and on­line chan­nels.

For ex­am­ple, a four-day, three-night pack­age to Ja­pan is be­ing of­fered for

20,000-25,000 baht per per­son, com­pared with 40,000-50,000 baht per per­son dur­ing peak sea­son.

A four-day, three-night pack­age to Tai­wan is priced at 15,000 baht, down from 25,000 baht, while a pack­age to South Ko­rea was cut from 20,000 baht to

just 10,000 baht this year.

He said Pro Fai Mai tours mainly tar­get se­niors and young tourists as they are more in­flu­enced by prices. Th­ese pack­ages of­fer the same ser­vice to ev­ery­one in the group tour.

Mr Adith said the pro­mo­tions will not dam­age other travel busi­nesses such as travel com­pa­nies and air­lines be­cause they also of­fer pro­mo­tions in the low sea­son, but re­main prof­itable dur­ing peak sea­sons.

But he ad­mit­ted some peo­ple may wait to buy cheap travel pro­grammes at the last minute.

TTAA sta­tis­tics show 8 mil­lion Thais trav­elled abroad last year. The as­so­ci­a­tion pre­dicts 9 mil­lion will join over­seas trips this year.

Pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for Thais in­clude Ja­pan, South Ko­rea, Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore and China.


Peo­ple throng the Thai In­ter­na­tional Travel Fair 2018, held re­cently in Bangkok.

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