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Panel announces plans to boost tourism, create 1 million jobs

Jack Burton

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Panel announces plans to boost tourism, create 1 million jobs | The Thaiger
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The new panel established by PM Prayut Chan-ocha to steer the economy through the Covid-19 crisis got off to a blazing start yesterday, announcing measures to boost tourism and create a million jobs. Created after the Cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, the panel’s first meeting was chaired by the PM and attended by economics ministers and experts. After the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow said they had agreed to increase subsidies for local tourists and make jobs available for 400,000 recent graduates.

The committee plans to boost local tourism by expanding its 40% subsidy for accommodation costs from 5 nights to 10. The government launched the tourism subsidies in mid-July with its “We Travel Together” scheme, but so far only around 660,000 of the available 5 million subsidised nights have been booked. Travellers will also see their 1,000 baht discount on air tickets increased to 2,000 baht. Corporations will be invited to use the subsidies to organise seminars or training in other parts of the country. The measures will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval on Tuesday.

The Labour Ministry will also propose measures to create 1 million jobs in the near future to combat burgeoning unemployment. The government has prioritised finding another 400,000 jobs for graduates by funding companies to hire and retain workers. The jobs will be available at private companies and government agencies, according to the minister. The government will also launch other job creation projects funded by the 400 billion baht economic stimulus package.

The unemployment rate in the second quarter rose 1.9 per cent to 745,000 people, according to the National Economic and Social Development Council. The NESDC is also worried about further job losses as 1.7 million workers are currently “furloughed”. The state think-tank predicts the economy will shrink 7.5 per cent this year following a plunge of 12.2 per cent in the second quarter.

Supattanapong said the government aims to bolster the economy and keep the contraction lower than projections.

The new governor of the Bank of Thailand says more small and medium-sized enterprises will apply for loans under the government’s 500 billion baht soft loans scheme. Launched by the central bank in April, the scheme has attracted fewer than expected borrowers due to strict loan conditions. On Tuesday the government relaxed the conditions, instructing bythe state run Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation to guarantee loans, which will encourage commercial banks to lend more.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    TS

    August 20, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    “off to a blazing start, blah, blah, so far only around 660,000 of the available 5 million subsidised nights have been booked, blah, blah, labour ministry to propose plan to create one million-ONE MILLION! jobs in near future.” Thai tourists will be queuing up as fast as those lucky foreign tourists from “safe” cities for the chance of a lifetime to get to fabulous destinations such as Phuket. Plan is a game changer?

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 20, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    This is the answer to the lukewarm reception.

    Money will be spent on neccesities, helping family and saved for emergencies. Not many will want to vacay/holiday in a ghost town.

  3. Avatar

    Bobby m

    August 20, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    I repeat from an earlier post.

    Not rocket science is it.
    It doesn’t matter how cheap you make something if the majority of your people HAVE NO MONEY and don’t know when they will get any.

    Now you are expecting companies that cannot afford to pay their staff and are laying people off, to take up the offer.

    Oh wake up and smell the coffee

  4. Avatar

    TS

    August 20, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Name of the game for unemployed/displaced Thai people is survival day to day- for themselves, family, friends, neighbors; they’re trying to stay afloat, not thinking about running off to some supposedly gov. subsidised holiday with smiley faces pretending to enjoy. Get real ministries of whatever, stop with the empty promises of millions of jobs and bright future just around the corner. You’ve got extra monies- find a way to get it to the millions of Thais in need. And I feel blessed to live amongst them as a guest. Ever cheerful, helpful, tolerant

  5. Avatar

    David

    August 20, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    If the panel’s been established and chaired by PM Prayut, how could it possibly not achieve what it claims to be confident in achieving? Why, that would almost be like telling lies . . . lies like not improving education, not improving road-safety, not improving wealth & social inequality, not improving the work-ethic of the RTP . . . or even to get them working at all. Just more hot air which his lordship craves will give him more kudos.

    • Avatar

      Mike Frenchie

      August 21, 2020 at 4:53 am

      It is diving fast… very fast.

      Thailand is not injecting money in its economy (or so little) as the West is doing while keeping the country shut! With its tourism (min. 15%), real estate (5%) and retail (10%) being hammered, yoy GDP will sink >20%…

      No, not everything will be all right, many people will die of the consequences of these erratic decisions. COVID is not lethal for most, starving will be…

  6. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    August 20, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Those don’t sound like loans, they sound like welfare – bad debts that may have to be written off.

  7. Avatar

    Ray W.

    August 20, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Ummm… what?! There is effectively no one with real expendable income. This is like saying we are going to increase ‘0’ by 40%… so still ‘0’, nada, nothing. OPEN the boarder, deal with the risk, stop destroying the economy, we are loosing more people to that then we ever would have to COVID.

  8. Avatar

    Roger Elliot

    August 21, 2020 at 2:50 am

    This “we travel together” scheme is clearly a perk for the privileged minority in Thailand. The vast majority of people in Thailand is more concerned about putting food on there table.

  9. Avatar

    Mike

    August 24, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Travel subsidies only benefit the wealthy of Thailand andiIncluding expats means little as they make up such a small percentage of the population. Including incoming tourist would come at a cost and require a balancing act that can not be achieved with desired results.
    Phuket wants to let in tourist but confine them to a small section of beach. Nobody wants to spend money to fly across countries only to be in a lockdown scenario. It sounds great on paper (make the locals feel safe and show that it will help the economy) but with very few takers it won’t help anybody and certainly won’t help a devastated economy. In the end opening up Thailand, and thus the economy, is the only way to recover. Unfortunately this will pose a high risk of COVID. Pick your bad – COVID or bad economy.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Business

Thai Vietjet introduce new “Deluxe” product for domestic routes in Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Thai Vietjet introduce new “Deluxe” product for domestic routes in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.vietjetair.com

Thai Vietjet, which currently operates 13 domestic routes within Thailand, is launching a new “Deluxe” product, starting from 999 baht. The “Deluxe” tickets will include 7 kilos of carry-on and 20 kilos of checked luggage (currently an additional charge), as well as seat selection and priority check-in. Date, route and flight changes are also permitted 1 time, free of charge.

Deluxe fares are available for travel between October 6 and December 31, excluding public holidays, on all domestic routes operated by the carrier. The 999 baht price tag does not include taxes and fees. Thai Vietjet is adding a number of new routes to its current network, including Chiang Rai to Hat Yai from November 1, and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani, and Surat Thani from November 4.

The airline’s full network of domestic routes can be viewed at www.vietjetair.com. It also operates a number of international routes between Thailand and Vietnam and between Thailand and China, but not at the moment.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Economy

Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand

The Thaiger

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Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand | The Thaiger

Vietnamese finance officials are downgrading expectations for a recovery of the south east Asian nation’s economy in 2021. The normally fast-growing gross domestic product in 2020 has stalled due to a huge drop in local and global demand, and the absence of international tourism. The booming economy, growing at an average of 6% per year since 2012, will struggle to reach a growth rate of 2% this year.

Fuelled by manufactured exports, the Vietnam economy has dropped back to a trickle. The Asian Development Bank estimates that this year’s GDP growth could be as low as 1.8%. The Vietnamese factories, that usually crank out shoes, garments, furniture and cheap electronics, are seeing dropping demand as the world’s consumer confidence drops dramatically.

Stay-at-home rules in Europe and America are keeping are keeping people away from retail stores. And despite the acceleration of online retail, many of the consumers are emerging from the Covid Spring and Summer with vastly reduced spending power.

The headaches of 2020 are also challenging Vietnam to maintain its reputation as south east Asia’s manufacturing hotspot. Rising costs and xenophobic foreign policy have put China ‘on the nose’ with some governments, complicating factory work in China, whilst other south east Asian countries lack infrastructure and are incurring higher wage costs.

One Vietnamese factory operated by Taiwan-based Pou Chen Group, which produces footwear for top international brands, has laid off 150 workers earlier this year. There are hundreds more examples of the impact of falling demand in the bustling Vietnamese manufacturing economy.

Vietnam’s border closure is also preventing investors from making trips, setting up meetings and pushing projects forward. Those projects in turn create jobs, fostering Vietnam’s growing middle class. Tourism has also been badly affected by the restrictions on travel. “International tourism is dead,” says Jack Nguyen, a partner at Mazars in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Inbound tourism usually makes up 6% of the economy.”

“Things will only pick up only when the borders are open and there’s no quarantine requirements. Who knows when that’s going to be.”

A mid-year COVID-19 outbreak in the coastal resort city Danang followed by the start of the school year has reduced domestic travel, analysts say. Some of the country’s hotels are up for sale as a result.

“Recovery could take 4 years.”

The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment is now warning that global post-pandemic recovery could take as long as 4 years, perhaps more.

Not that foreign investors in the country are pulling out. Indeed, many are tainge a long-term view that Vietnam’s underlying strengths will outlive Covid-19. Vietnam reports just 1,069 coronavirus cases overall.

SOURCE: VOA News

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Thailand

Thai Air Asia returns to Suvarnabhumi in addition to its Don Mueang hub

The Thaiger

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Thai Air Asia returns to Suvarnabhumi in addition to its Don Mueang hub | The Thaiger

Thai AirAsia is spreading its Bangkok wings and opening up a secondary hub at the main Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK), to help broaden its attraction and bolster its bottomline. Thai Air Asia was the first airline to head back to the moth-balled Don Mueang in 2012 to re-establish the older airport after all the airlines moved across to the new Suvarnabhumi and discount airlines were seeking a lower-cost base.

Although Thai Air Asia carried 22.15 million passengers last year, this year’s total will fall a long way short, just 6 million for 2020 up to date. Under the new set up, Thai AirAsia will have resumed nearly 90% of its pre-Covid domestic services, a total of 109 daily flights to 39 destinations. There will be 97 flights from Don Mueang Airport and 12 from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

With only a handful of international traffic, Suvarnabhumi officials are keen to re-kindle revenue for the massive airport and have struck a deal with Thai Air Asia to trial operations from BKK. They will be the only domestic carrier to operate flights from the two airports.

If the 2 month trial at Suvarnabhumi is successful, Thai AirAsia plans to add another plane to the BKK fleet by the end of the year. At this stage the trial is only approved up to the end of November.

Thai Air Asia have been concentrating on their ‘bus’ model to ferry passengers from the terminals to their aircraft waiting on remote airport aprons, and visa versa, to avoid some of the landing charges and using the sky-bridges. Some passengers have been complaining about the long trips in crowded buses, wild rides and over-enthusiastic air conditioning, whilst being told to strictly adhere to social distancing.

This week the Malaysian parent company Air Asia, announced the introduction of a ‘super app’, in an attempt to off-set the significant financial losses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The mobile application shuffles Air Asia’s model as a flight and accommodation provider, to a broader platform of complimentary services. The app will offer users a variety of options, including digital payment services, delivery services, and an e-commerce platform. Air Asia Chief Executive and founder, Tony Fernandes, says the idea for the app was floated prior to the pandemic, but Covid-19 hastened its development.

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