The Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, yesterday revealed his department expects to get a 2 billion baht “booster shot budget” to push Thai tourism this year after complaining to the prime minister.
Phiphat revealed he approached PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and asked for the extra cash after being ignored by the man in charge of allocating additional funds, the Director of the Covid-19 Loan Screening Committee, Danucha Pitchayanan.
The Tourism and Sports Minister said…
“This man, Danucha, had never approved any budget for the Tourism and Sports Ministry.”
Phiphat originally believed one billion baht would be enough to attract more foreigners to Thailand. The target was attracting 1.5 million foreigners this year, but a recent estimation said the kingdom might only get 1.2 million tourists. The extra money, what the government is calling “a booster shot budget,” would be used to hit the 1.5 million target and attract more foreigners.
Phiphat said he is confident the government will approve the initial one billion baht budget while the extra one billion baht would come from Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, who is in charge of the National Sports Development Fund. Prawit’s department promotes sports tourism.
“PM Prayut always said that money from the tourism industry helped boost the Thai economy. However, the budget for the Tourism and Sports Ministry, which is a money maker, was very small.
“The Tourism Authority of Thailand got a bigger budget than my ministry. We used to get about 5 – 6 billion baht per year but this year it is only 1.9 billion baht. Next year it is 2.2 billion baht.”
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