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Government to consider rescue packages for tourism businesses in South

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Phuket 101

The government will hold a mobile Cabinet meeting in Phuket today to consider potential rescue packages for tourism-related businesses that have been ravaged by the closure of international borders. The proposals, which include soft loans for airlines and other businesses, come after PM Prayut Chan-o-cha met with Phuket business representatives and local officials yesterday.

The Bangkok Post reports that the PM has vowed to speed up the recovery of the tourism sector in the south of the country, with particular emphasis on Phuket and Koh Samui. The pledge comes after Phuket business leaders and officials urged him to consider various measures to get the island’s economy going again.

The Finance Minister, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, says the government will offer airlines the option of low-interest soft loans in return for limiting fare increases, in order to encourage more domestic bookings. In August, airline bosses asked the government to approve a 24-billion-baht budget to make soft loans available to struggling businesses, but got no response back then.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister, Suchart Chomklin, has pledged to boost employment in the provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Satun, Trang and Ranong, through a 1.5 billion baht budget that will fund jobs for the unemployed for a period of 10 months. It’s understood the funds will come from a 400-billion-baht budget to boost economic recovery in the provinces on the Andaman coast. Of that, Phuket will get 500 million baht to hire 8,000 workers, with the other provinces allocated 200 million baht each to hire between 2,000 and 3,000 people.

Phuket businesses are also calling for an extension to the domestic travel stimulus scheme until the end of the year. Local officials are also asking the government to promote the province as a place to hold conferences and meetings, as well as increasing the number of weekend flights from Bangkok.

In addition to immediate measures to kick-start the economy, Phuket is focused on a number of other projects, including the development of a multi-billion-baht medical hub and creating incentives that will attract more companies to the province.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Once again, the third-largest city in the country, Hat Yai, is left out.

    The city has many businesses that depend on tourism from Malaysia and with the borders closed, there are businesses that are struggling and folding.

    But Hat Yai never gets considered for any “help” packages. It’s truly frustrating. Even this website talks about “the South” of Thailand, but only talks about Phuket, Samui, Surit Thani and the like.

    We are The South, and we need as much help as the struggling businesses in those places.

    • Avatar

      Johnny Rambo

      Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      They ignore Hat Yai because it has a large Muslim population. Thais are deeply racist and simply dont care about their Muslim citizens. Thats why there are many Muslim rebels in Thailand who fight for their freedom to get rid of this brutal oppression.

    • Avatar

      Ryan Lih

      Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 5:24 pm

      I feel for your bro. Currently, Malaysia’s covid-19 cases are in the 2nd wave and cases hit 3 to 4 digits/day. At this rate, I don’t think Songklah governor will allow Malaysians to come in post 1Q21. Hatyai & Dannok seriously need Malaysian tourists as everything across the board has suffered. It is very unfortunate. Dannok, Betong, Padang Besar, and Sg Golok have been greatly affected by Malaysian gov’t closing borders till year end but at the current rate, could drag even longer.

  2. Avatar

    Jonathan Hugo

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 10:24 am

    400 billion budget, and 1.5 billion for unemployment for 10 months. 0.5 billion for 800 jobs in Phuket – average of 6250 per job per month. Better than minimum wage, but not exactly high quality jobs. Hopefully the workers will start the necessary clean-up of the whole island, further the road maintenance programme, and contribute to building the necessary infrastructure – proper waste and water management facilities. Over 1 billion cubic meters of rain falls on Phuket annually – why is there a shortage when consumption is less than 0.1 billion cubes? And perhaps some hotels should be converted to medical/care facilities, rather than starting afresh at Mai Khao?

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Nice start but is underwhelming to say the least. Soft loans are good for big businesses but only if their businesses model resumes in the near future. Otherwise it’s just more debt they can’t pay. Job creation always helps. Still needed was grants to small businesses with part of the money tied to job retention. Even so, what is really needed above all else is resuming business activity. You need tourists for that and since that’s not going to happen every thing else is just a bandaid on a gaping wound.

  4. Avatar

    Johnny Rambo

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Bla bla bla … If you wanna save your economy just open the borders you Thai morons. Stop coming up with dumb ideas that will never function anyway.

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 6:34 am

      Thai people can fly without Covid restrictions to Europe, but people from Europe are not welcome or need a expensive and long quarantaine, because we are high risk countries. Because….we do massive testing and we have a lot of elderly people in nursing homes. Most tourist are younger then 65 years old. Most people who have died from covid-19 in Europa are older then 70-80 years old. Since there is no massive testing in Thailand, who can really tell how the situation is?

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    The Thai tourist ship is going down and if there is no a rescue soon, the ship will be sunk.

  6. Avatar


    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    What about tourism package for the north e.g Chiang Mai? There was a significant no. of Chinese tourists last year? One of the local 5 star hotels has 10 percent or less occupancy on week days and perhaps twice that during week-ends by local Thai people.

  7. Avatar

    Edward Gibson

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    They can come up with all the dull stupid idea tourist are not interested coming to thailand until at dull goverment understand how foriegnors think and not being told what they got to do and until all the stupid requirements and rules change u will suffer everyday it’s something new if it not about visa its about giving u a free visa if u buy a 10 million condo and then how well they are doing with domestic tourist and they had 1 million tourist and the money was 1 billion baht for at holiday weekend thailand understand people are totally piss off with u with all your bull shit your requirements
    and rules and your lies I am sick of hearing about and reading about thailand why dont u just give it a rest and wake (Tourist are not interested dont u understand people have shown u at. At why nobody are taking u up on the visa and the requirements

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