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High season lost, operators ask for 50% salary subsidies

High season lost, operators ask for 50% salary subsidies

THAILAND: The ongoing outbreak is ruining any hopes for high-season tourism, with operators urging the government to subsidise 50% of monthly salaries to help employees in the industry.

By Bangkok Post

Friday 8 January 2021, 11:45AM

Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday (Jan 7). The outbreak continues to decimate the tourism industry.  Photo: Somchai Poomlard.

Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday (Jan 7). The outbreak continues to decimate the tourism industry.  Photo: Somchai Poomlard.

“The latest surge halted tourism demand during the high season in Chiang Mai, following good numbers in November,” said La-Iad Bungsrithong, president of the Thai Hotels Association’s northern chapter.

There are growing cancellations and no new hotel bookings, she said.

Bangkok, a key domestic market for Chiang Mai, has been declared a red zone and people are encouraged to refrain from travelling. Overall hotel occupancy in Chiang Mai fell to 10% and some hotels decided to temporarily close.

“Chiang Mai is not likely to receive any new leisure tourists throughout January,” Mrs La-Iad said.

She said the government can stave off a higher unemployment rate by adopting a 50% subsidy for monthly salaries, capped at B7,500 per employee, for at least one year.

The loan payment holiday should be extended for two years as well, said Mrs La-Iad.

“We cannot wait until the infection rate is zero to start over, especially for operators in the hospitality business,” she said.

Internal - Phuket Live Radio 89.5

Hotels still in operation have to implement vigorous practices mandated by the Safety and Health Administration guidelines to ensure the safety of guests and staff.

Chayut Chaitrakultong, president of Rayong Tourism Association, said the province has strict control measures because of the spread of the virus, which includes stringent travel restrictions, keeping visitors from Rayong.

The 14-day quarantine is mandatory on arrival, as well as when visitors return to their home provinces, making it a major constraint for travel.

At the moment, 90% of around 1,000 hotels in Rayong are temporarily closed due to occupancy rates of close to zero.

“New infections in the province are much more serious than when the Egyptian soldier who tested positive last July,” Mr Chayut said.

“Unlike the first outbreak last year, when the government imposed nationwide lockdown, there has been no decisive action. The practical solutions to support people affected by the recent outbreak are still vague.”

He said that the government has to help operators secure soft loans more easily, particularly those in the 28 provinces designated as maximum control zones that cannot operate businesses amid the new wave of pandemic.

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Kurt | 10 January 2021 - 12:12:59

....Become a honest country. Don't think that the Thai smile is still enough in this cyber era to treat  international tourists any longer as a walking wallet you can make lighter. As long your tuk tuks and 'taxis', (allowed with weapons on board !) are more expensive than taxis in Europe or USA, you loose goodwill. Simple.

Kurt | 10 January 2021 - 12:05:38

Old times not return. I wait now months to read something about Thai 'New Normal' initiatives. So far; Nothing, Zero! Only 'waiting', sitting on hands. One of the things can already law wise settled in advance. Forbid dual, quatro, or more 'dual' pricing.. Stop discriminating foreign tourists with tour/transport scams. Stop double menu prices practise in restaurants. Become...

Kurt | 10 January 2021 - 11:50:32

---take mortgages on your villas. Look now too for a way to have your daily bowl of rice. 

Kurt | 10 January 2021 - 11:48:48

No 'feeling' for these 'Operators'. Many have very luxury homes, drive very expensive cars, went with families for luxury Europe holidays, shopped there very luxury. Money tries were growing up until in heaven. Don't misunderstand me, I am not jealous, I grant them all these living style things. But now, don't cry, keep up your own pants. Drive 'cheaper', take mortg...

Kurt | 08 January 2021 - 12:12:50

..'We can not wait until the infection rate is Zero'...  Well, 'waiting time' will be at least until all people in Thailand are vaccinated. That is what is needed to make the infection rate Zero. Of course, it not will become really Zero, but it will become manageable safe. Until than, Government needs to set infra structural help programs, a 'bit' more than the goodies bag...


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