Phase 2 of travel stimulus may be cancelled due to fraud, as PM said to be “furious”


Officials are considering cancelling the next phase of the government’s domestic tourism stimulus campaign, after multiple cases of fraud emerged. To date, over 200 people have been prosecuted for corruption in the domestic travel campaign, as well as in other government stimulus schemes. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that, in conjunction with the Tourism and Sports Ministry, it has filed a police report against more than 500 hotels and other businesses.

The discovery of the fraud cases had prompted officials to postpone the addition of another 1 million discounted hotel rooms, a decision that has already impacted bookings for the New Year period. However, Nation Thailand reports that, according to a source close to the “We Travel Together” (Khon La Khrueng) scheme, the plan may end up dropped altogether. The issuing of additional 600 baht and 900 baht food and travel vouchers has also been postponed.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is said to be furious over the reports of corruption, ordering the authorities to punish those involved, and calling on the public to cooperate in bringing them to justice.

“Solving the problem of corruption is not just the responsibility of the state. All parties must cooperate – givers, receivers and service providers. They must help each other by providing information so that we can arrest these fraudsters.”

The PM says the travel stimulus scheme was introduced to help struggling hotels and other businesses in the tourism sector. He says finding the budget for such campaigns was a challenge, without having to see the schemes end in corruption.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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