Connect with us

Tourism

Embattled tourism sector to get lifeline from the government

Jack Burton

Published 

 on 

Embattled tourism sector to get lifeline from the government | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The government is mulling measures to help Thailand's struggling tourism sector
  • follow us in feedly

Thailand’s government is prepared to throw a lifeline to tourism operators ravaged by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, in the form of soft loans, tax incentives and training in return for income. Relief measures are urgently needed to protect tourism operators, according to Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak. State agencies have been tasked with proposing measures to the cabinet, which he says should be rolled out by March.

The impact of the deadly virus on tourism has been devastating and the government is concerned because the sector comprises a significant portion of the economy, Somkid said after chairing a meeting with Finance Ministry officials to brainstorm solutions.

“Measures would include covering costs and boosting income. Both monetary and fiscal measures will then be needed to alleviate the impact over the next 3-4 months.”

“Tax measures should be established to help business owners take care of employees.”

The ministries of Labour, Tourism and Sports, and Social Development and Human Security, will hold joint training courses related to sustainable tourism development for freelancers affected by the epidemic.

“We must offer tourism operators training courses to earn some income. They can take short courses to gain knowledge and generate income.”

Somkid says the Finance and Tourism and Sports ministries must design projects to boost domestic tourism. Those who sponsor domestic travel for their parents will be allowed deduct such expenses from personal income tax, he says, while the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Thailand have been assigned to jointly come up with relief measures for struggling tourism operators.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the ministry will offer soft loans and seek ways to alleviate the burden of regular expenses like credit card loans and utilities for tourism-related operators.

The ministry will issue tax measures to enable tourism operators to keep hiring staff, while it will stimulate domestic travel through the Chim-Shop-Chai (Eat-Shop-Spend) scheme.

In another development, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) executive vice-president Somkiat Kimawaha said the bank stands ready to inject 34.4 billion baht in cash for recapitalisation of local village funds if the government’s policy is cleared.

Somkid earlier ordered the BAAC and Government Savings Bank (GSB) to pump 1 million baht each into 77,000 village funds to enable communities to invest in infrastructure. Of that total, 42,600 are under the responsibility of GSB and the rest under the state-backed Farm Bank.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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.

Tourism

Pattaya cleaning up its Walking Street act in time for Chinese New Year

The Thaiger

Published

on

Pattaya cleaning up its Walking Street act in time for Chinese New Year | The Thaiger

Pattaya City is planning to clean up its Walking Street act in time for the upcoming Chinese New Year. But, as the second wave of Covid-19 mostly destroyed what was left of any foreign or domestic tourism, it might all be in vain. Thousands of businesses remain closed due to Chon Buri province being a “highly controlled” Covid-19 zone, which effectively controls the number of people moving in and out of the province, including Pattaya.

In other words, not many.

Banglamung has had 0 cases of Covid-19 for almost a week now with only 1 case being reported in Chon Buri in the past 3 days. But the new downturn in Covid infections hasn’t helped to ease restrictions that have left many local businesses shuttered. Chon Buri health officials are taking note of the recently diminishing amount of Covid cases and say they will review the strict measures probably at the end of the month, but warn that there is no promise that measures will be eased.

Even if the restrictions are lifted, Covid has had a profound and lasting effect on tourism in Pattaya, like the rest of Thailand. Last March, borders closed to foreign tourism, only allowing those who were able to physically and financially get through the mandatory 14 day quarantine and mountains of paperwork.

Needless to say, Pattaya, which in 2019 was the 19th most visited city in the world, with almost 10 million visitors, has been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with it high reliance on passing tourist trade. City officials say they are reviewing measures to help renovate the city, and offer, what is hoped to be, a light at the end of the tunnel.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO | The Thaiger

The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such a remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating itself, of the coronavirus.

Then they came up with the STV – the special tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to Tavel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find come other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

 

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Tourism

Record number of tourism firms quitting Covid-ravaged sector for good

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Record number of tourism firms quitting Covid-ravaged sector for good | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGN

As the devastating economic effects of Covid-19 restrictions persist, a record number of Thai tourism operators are quitting the sector for good. The number of tourism firms surrendering their licences peaked last month, and around 70% of outbound agents have shut up shop indefinitely. The final nail in their collective coffin has been the Covid-19 resurgence, which originated in a seafood market in the central province of Samut Sakhon and has now spread to over 60 provinces.

The president of the Thai Travel Agents Association says around 10% of outbound tour operators have returned their licences to the Tourism Department. Suthiphong Pheunphiphop says 2,598 tourism operators have left the sector for good, unable to survive having no international tourists for nearly a year now. He says the last quarter of 2020 saw the highest number of companies de-registering, at 765. Of those, 293 quit last month.

Suthiphong says domestic tourism may pick up again by April, but this depends on how effective the government is at bringing the second wave of the virus under control. He adds that with the arrival of spring in many parts of the world in the coming months, global infections may fall, but it’s still a waiting game.

“Operators have to wait and see how things turn out in June The outlook for the outbound market is the most difficult to predict as the industry faces highly uncertain factors such as vaccine efficacy and policies in each destination to allow the flow of tourists.”

The TTAA says that in 2019, 11 million Thai tourists spent 430 billion baht on overseas trips. Last year, that plummeted to 1 million spending 50 billion baht. The association has postponed the Thai International Travel Fair, which was due to take place in February. It is now scheduled for August 26 – 29.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn will meet Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin this week, in order to discuss a co-payment scheme to protect those employed in the tourism industry. It’s understood the proposal is to subsidise 50% of monthly salaries, up to a maximum of 7,500 baht per employee.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29

Thailand News Today | No national lockdown, Bangkok schools closed, Abortion Bill | Dec 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | No national lockdown, Bangkok schools closed, Abortion Bill | Dec 24

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending