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Support scheme for tourism staff

Support scheme for tourism staff

BANGKOK: The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) aims to establish the Tourism Labour Bank assistance programme by March for tourism workers suffering from the impact of the pandemic as the fresh outbreak could result in up to 2 million workers in the industry losing their jobs.

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 27 January 2021, 09:43AM

Khao San Road, usually packed with carousing tourists, is virtually devoid of business activity. Photo:  Apichart Jinakul / Bangkok Post

Khao San Road, usually packed with carousing tourists, is virtually devoid of business activity. Photo:  Apichart Jinakul / Bangkok Post

“The council will develop a tourism employment database that does not only shed light on the number of tourism workers in order to estimate the impact from the future crisis and come up with effective measures, but also seeks ways to prevent more job losses in the tourism segment,” said TCT President Chamnan Srisawat.

Unemployed tourism workers who are registered with the programme can join training for upskilling and reskilling in useful topics such as online marketing and languages, with support for daily expenses, he said.

They can also be temporarily hired for jobs in tourism businesses that need more staff so they will not have to switch to other jobs, he said.

The government can safeguard tourism jobs by implementing the co-payment scheme for a monthly salary of up to B15,000 with the government subsidising half of it, he said. The labour bank can carry out this assistance.

The tourism confidence index in 2020’s fourth quarter, which polled 1,020 local tourism operators during Nov 11-Dec 29, is 62, up from 60 in the third quarter, but down significantly from 88 in the same period of 2019.

A reading of 100 indicates overall tourism sentiment is stable, while a reading below 100 shows a drop in confidence.

According to the survey, 1.04mn tourism workers lost their jobs last year as 3% of tourism companies shut down permanently and 10% were temporarily closed.

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While 85% of companies continued to operate, half of them cut 30-40% of their workforce.

With the new outbreak, the index in this quarter was predicted to fall to 53. Operators in destinations that heavily rely on tourism like Bangkok and the Southern region showed the lowest confidence at only 37 and 39, respectively.

Mr Chamnan said in the first half the government must constantly introduce more inclusive tourism stimulus measures on top of subsidies given to hotels and airlines.

Meetings and seminars held by state agencies can help boost domestic trips in the second half, he noted.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association, said 80% of hoteliers in major destinations, such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phang Nga and Bangkok, have temporarily closed.

Apart from the co-payment scheme, financial relief in the form of a two-year debt payment holiday, reduced electricity bills and soft loans (such as a B60mn loan per hotel with 2% interest rate) could play a crucial role in supporting tourism operators, she said.

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Kurt | 30 January 2021 - 12:18:02

Figures/percentages are not real. Thai economy was floating on tourism and foreign multinationals, having offices, factories, etc in Thailand. They are/were the carriers of Thai economy. Time Thailand starts to give international tourism in future a better and more respectful platform. Less regimental, no dual pricing/double menu prices or scamming transport prices. And about much more

Galong | 29 January 2021 - 08:59:14

@CaptainJack69 "Tourism is 20% of Thailand's economy" yeah, I'm guessing it's even more than that as a huge percentage of people in the industry don't report income!  I wonder what the actual percentage is.

CaptainJack69 | 28 January 2021 - 12:21:25

A trip to the real world would pay great dividends for the people coming up with these schemes. How can people who work in tourism survive when tourists aren't allowed? Even domestic travel is out of the question for most people now. Tourism is 20% of Thailand's economy and clearly the only thing that's going to save it is prompt, effective, and accepted vaccination.


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