Hoteliers less than enthusiastic about government’s tourism stimulus scheme

PHOTO: Flickr/Star Tour

Hotel operators have given a mixed response to a Tourism Authority of Thailand proposal for the new phase of the domestic tourism stimulus campaign. The TAT have suggested that hotels could offer a 50% discount on an extra 1 million room nights, in addition to the government’s offering under the “We Travel Together” scheme.

According to a Bangkok Post report, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn says cooperation from hotels will be needed to revive domestic tourism without relying solely on government funds. He says what remains of the government’s 4-billion-baht budget for the scheme will fund a 40% subsidy on 1 million room nights, but is urging hotels to offer an additional 1 million room nights. However, the Thai Hotels Association is less than enthusiastic.

THA president, Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, says most properties have already discounted room rates by 50% and says that if funds are limited, the government should instead offer a 20% subsidy on 2 million room nights, instead of a 40% discount on 1 million.

“May is a transition period for tourism, as the country can expect an average of 15,000 air passengers per day, or at least 450,000 tourists this month. However, the domestic market remains vital to support operators.”

Another problem with the subsidy scheme, according to the Chon Buri Tourism Council, is delayed payments. Acting president Thanet Supornsahasrungsi says some hotels are less keen to join the programme because of how long it takes to get paid. He points out that a number of hotels in Pattaya have been waiting since December.

Thanet points out that mid-level hotels struggle to compete with 5-star properties and international chains in popular locations, which many Thai tourists tend to favour. He has urged the TAT to provide more support to mid-level properties.

The issue of delayed payments is also mentioned by Phunut Thanalaopanich from the THA’s northern chapter. He says there are over 60 hotels in Chiang Mai trying to cope with delayed payments. Despite this, he says hotels have agreed to offer discounts under the subsidy scheme as the region is reliant on domestic tourism, with international tourists tending to favour southern beach destinations.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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