With a ban on foreign tourists in place, the government is relying on local travellers to inject money into the tourism sector with the ‘Rao Tiew Duay Kan’ domestic tourism drive, which subsidises 5 million nights of hotel accommodation.
Under the scheme, tourists pay only 60% of normal room rates, with the government responsible for the other 40%, with the subsidy capped at B3,000 per night for up to five nights.
More than 3.6 million people have signed up for the package since registration on the website began on Wednesday.
Ms Traisuree said any hotels caught price gouging will be terminated from the programme immediately, reports the Bangkok Post.
Most of the registrants had reserved one-night stays in hotels in eastern and western provinces. Krabi was the most popular long-distance tourist destination so far, she added.
The warning came after several registrants complained of inflated room rates on social media. One person wrote on a Facebook page that a hotel where she planned to stay had advertised a rate of B2,200 per night, but the amount increased when she tried to register with the tourism promotion campaign.
The rate was now B4,000 per night, or B2,400 after the 40% discount rate, she wrote without naming the hotel.
The warning came as the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Sunday reported that three new COVID-19 infections were found in Thais returning to the country from abroad.
Two of the cases returned to the country from Singapore: a 60-year-old man who arrived in Bangkok on July 6 and tested positive five days later, and a 43-year-old man who was tested after showing symptoms when he arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on Friday.
The third case was a 39-year-old man who arrived from Sudan on Saturday. He also showed symptoms at the airport, was tested and then diagnosed with the disease.
CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said all three new patients had no contact with the public and are now hospitalised.
The total number of confirmed cases was now 3,249, with fatalities unchanged at 58.
Although the country has been free of local transmissions for 55 days, a Suan Dusit Poll issued on Sunday indicated that public sentiment was still against plans to open the doors to foreigners, the Bangkok Post noted.