Cabinet endorses three packages to revive ailing tourism industry
Thailand’s Cabinet today approved three packages intended to reboot Thailand’s declining tourism industry, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourist arrivals and revenues for the first quarter of this year fell by over 50% compared to the same period last year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said, after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had reminded the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, which initiated the three packages, to ensure that they are implemented with transparency and efficiency.
The first package is intended to provide incentives to about 1.2 million front-line medical personnel and public health volunteers. Each will be given 2,000 baht travelling expenses for two days and one night. The package is estimated to cost the taxpayer 2.4 billion baht.
The second package is intended to encourage two million people to travel and spend. Each will be given 1,000 baht to cover 40% of their travel by air, public bus or by rented car. The cost of this package is estimated at 2 billion baht.
The third, which will cost an estimated 18 billion baht, will cover 40% of the hotel expenses of customers, for room rates not exceeding 3,000 baht per night, and food expenses. Hotels wanting to join this program must register with the state-owned Krung Thai Bank.
The funding for the three packages will come from the 1.9 trillion baht budget intended to cushion the impacts on the economy and the Thai people from COVID-19 pandemic.
Regarding proposed “Travel Bubble” tourism, Mr. Anutin said the scheme is still in its initial stage, with more details to be considered, such as the coronavirus situation in countries which are to join the scheme with Thailand.
He said Thailand is open to negotiations with all countries which are ready to open up their borders.