Responding to the ongoing dual pricing debate, Ted Anderson had the following to say:
I am a travel promoter from overseas who sends a lot of travellers to South Africa. I also visit once a year myself, as I'm absolutely in love with it (It's great to be able to honestly have your heart behind something you're promoting).
If you do dual pricing, please be discreet about it. It's a gigantic turn-off for those who have to pay the higher price. Some places in Thailand and India offer dual pricing and everyone I speak to is offended by it.
South Africa is a fantastic destination, and one of the key selling points is value for money. Dual pricing doesn't just mean discounts for local travellers – it means increased prices for overseas travellers to offset the difference. A quality trip to South Africa from the US can cost the same as a trip to Hawaii from the US mainland, and the value can offset some of the negative aspects of long travel times.
But the added expense – and perceived lack of fairness – may make it less appealing.
Will you as a travel provider also offer dual pricing for someone from Camps Bay vs Khayelitsha? If not, what's the difference?
Do you offer a better product to the foreign tourist to make up for the additional price they're paying? Don't forget, he's already spent much more on airfare to get to South Africa than your local client.
To see the penguins at Boulders, in November SANParks will raise the entry fees to R40 for locals and R170 for overseas tourists. There's no VIP viewing area that those paying over four times the local rate get. A family of four from overseas will now pay R1 360 to visit Cape Point (R340 for a local family.) Cape Point is beautiful, but not R1 360 beautiful.
I believe if you need to do dual pricing, something is wrong with your pricing structure to begin with. You're either charging too much, and hoping somebody with ‘more money’ from ‘somewhere else’ will pay an inflated price, or you're selling a product/service that isn't marketable to the local market ‘as is’, and need to come up with a local version with ‘different offerings’, and different prices as well.
If, in the end, you do offer the exact same product at different prices for people from different regions, at least be incredibly discreet about it. Nobody likes feeling like a sucker.”