Finance Ministry looking at 3,000 baht ‘travel bank’ in next stimulus round

The Finance Ministry is looking at giving domestic tourists a 3,000 baht ‘travel bank’ to deduct off the cost of participating hotels, restaurants and tourism attractions. This time the restaurants, hospitality options and attractions will need to register for the service while the users won’t need to register.

So, a user might check into a 5,000 baht hotel and spend 1,000 baht on food for the family. They could use their credit to deduct 1,000 baht from the restaurant costs and the remaining 2,000 baht from their accommodation costs. They can’t cash in the credit, just use it on goods and services with registered businesses.

It is hoped the new scheme will help tourism-related businesses re-open and service some domestic tourism before the borders are re-opened for international tourists some time later. International borders are closed to scheduled international flights and tourism until at least the start of July. Land borders also remain closed. There is currently no date or plans for the resumption of international travel.

The revised government stimulus package has been designed to address some of the rorts in last year’s Eat-Shop-Spend (Chim-Shop-Chai) program. This time, rather than giving credits to the user, the government will re-imburse the businesses and services directly.

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The finance ministry is now looking for hospitality businesses and services to register their interest in getting involved with the program – the government’s kickstart to the tourism industry which has been completely shutdown during the three months of Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

The government is looking to spend 400 billion baht for general economic rehabilitation of the industry and another 1 trillion baht to fund the domestic tourism stimulus scheme. They plan to roll out the new tourism stimulus package in July. For June the government still has one more round of paying the monthly 5,000 cash payment to informal workers.

The government is also using the rest of June, at least, to repatriate Thais who were stuck overseas or wish to return to Thailand as their overseas work has evaporated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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