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Tourism operators want handout sped up

Tourism operators want handout sped up

BANGKOK: Tourism operators are urging the Finance Ministry to speed up plans to give cash handouts to people for domestic travel to prop up the sector during the low season.

tourismeconomics
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 23 July 2019, 09:10AM


Visitors check out tour packages at a tourism fair. A planned cash handout will be given to 10 million travellers who register to visit small provinces on a first-come, first-served basis. Photo: Somchai Poomlard / Bangkok Post

Visitors check out tour packages at a tourism fair. A planned cash handout will be given to 10 million travellers who register to visit small provinces on a first-come, first-served basis. Photo: Somchai Poomlard / Bangkok Post

The duration of such handouts should run from September until the end of December, with the amount at least B2,000, higher than the B1,500 proposed by the ministry officials, said Phuriwat Limthavornrat, president of the Association of Domestic Travel.

The planned B1,500 cash handout for tourism spending in second tier provinces was raised again along with other stimulus schemes be tabled for newly installed Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.

Under the initiative, the cash handout will be given to 10 million travellers who register to visit small provinces on a first-come, first-served basis. Registered tourists must show up at destinations before getting the money.

Mr Phuriwat said the idea is similar to the association's proposal for its meeting with new Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan. However, the scheme must be implemented quickly as the delay could hurt the industry, which has been tepid in the rainy season, he said.

The sluggish global economy has slowed down foreign arrivals, with growth of only 0.7% in the first six months of this year. That translates to 19.6 million arrivals, while the ongoing strength of the baht has encouraged more Thais to travel overseas.

Mr Pipat said earlier he wants to promote the use of cannabis substances in medical tourism to attract visitors from the West, such as Europe, who are quite positive about the plant.

But Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, was not too keen about the idea, saying the use of marijuana must be closely supervised by specialists.

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He also doubted whether the idea would sufficiently attract tourists from Europe and the US because he believes marijuana is not a priority product for them.

Instead, Mr Chairat suggests the ministry focus on safety and security measures for tourists.

He said the council is working with state agencies on several tourist safety projects such as safety on tourist buses by installing camera surveillance systems on each bus to monitor trained drivers.

Improving local tour guide standards, particularly for marine attractions, including guides on boats and dive sites, has already begun, said Mr Chairat.

 

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