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Phuket tourism operators banking on 5 billion baht recovery fund

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: YogeShuchi/Pixahive

Businesses on the resort island of Phuket are counting on a 5 billion baht fund to revitalise the decimated tourism sector. Thanet Tantipiriyakit from the Phuket Tourism Council says tourism operators on the island are pinning their hopes on the fund being created.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the fund will materialise. With the money, we can breathe a little easier.”

The Bangkok Post reports that the Bank of Thailand has set aside 250 billion baht for businesses affected by the pandemic. Out of that amount, 12 billion baht was earmarked for borrowing in the service sector. However, over 5,200 businesses were unable to obtain a loan. The reasons they were refused include being unable to offer enough collateral, already having significant debt, and having existing debt repayments suspended.

Thanet wants 3.5 billion baht of the recovery fund to be used to help micro and small to medium businesses, as well as supporting community development and various tourism attractions on Phuket. He has suggested that the fund should be made available to unlicenced hotels, to enable them to register and upgrade their properties, as well as helping spas, restaurants, and gift shops. In addition, the fund could help small businesses reclaim vehicles and other equipment pawned during the pandemic.

If the rescue package is created, it could be funded by the 250 billion baht loan, or from the government’s budget, or from a Phuket sandbox bond, which could raise around 10 billion baht. According to the Bangkok Post report, Phuket’s tourism operators have already forwarded the funding proposal to Deputy PM, Supattanapong Punmeechaow.

In related news, Bhummikitti Raktaengam from the Phuket Tourist Association says the island needs to attract more international tourists by simplifying entry requirements and a further easing of restrictions. He’s hopeful that from December, daily arrivals will be more than 10,000. Currently, they are less than 1,000.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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