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THA draws up support plan

BANGKOK: The pandemic has accentuated the imbalance in the oversupply of hotels and low demand, with most operators struggling to break even, according to the Thai Hotels Association (THA).

tourismeconomicsCOVID-19Coronavirus
By Bangkok Post

Monday 14 September 2020, 10:19AM


If the tourism situation does not improve over the next three to six months, the number of unemployed will likely escalate, says the Thai Hotels Association. Photo: Patong Municipality

If the tourism situation does not improve over the next three to six months, the number of unemployed will likely escalate, says the Thai Hotels Association. Photo: Patong Municipality

About 1 million hotel staff were laid off and demand for labour in the sector shrank by 75% because half the hotels nationwide remain closed, according to THA findings, reports the Bangkok Post.

THA president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi said that if the situation does not improve over the next three to six months, the number of unemployed will likely escalate because the local market alone cannot sustain the business of the vast majority of hotel operators.

The worst-case scenario will become prevalent, with more hotels expected to close permanently or forced to sell when they cannot pay off their debts, particularly if Thailand cannot welcome international tourists by the second half of next year.

In response, the THA developed assistive measures for hotels and will propose them to the authorities later this year.

The association will propose that the Bank of Thailand grant a 20% increase in soft loans from the initial budget for small and medium-sized hotels at 2% interest and allow hotels to pay back the loans within two to three years to ease the burden from the effects of the pandemic.

Moreover, the THA will ask the central bank to offer a two- or three-year grace period for paying back loans at a fixed 2% interest.

“Around 50% of hotels have resumed operation but at a very low occupancy rate,” Ms Marisa said. “The minimum occupancy needed to sustain the viability of hotels is 30%. Anything lower will not allow long-term survival.”

The THA proposes increasing the number of inbound tourists from abroad to 600 from 300 per day so that more hotels can take in people and receive benefits from the state quarantine (SQ) and alternative state quarantine (ASQ) model.

Ms Marisa said stimulus for domestic tourism remains the key to pushing the industry forward, but the government should streamline the stimulus campaign to make it accessible to all targets, including elderly people who may not be familiar with mobile apps and complicated procedures.

She suggested the idea of launching a hotel e-voucher that provides a fixed price on an e-commerce platform such as Lazada and Shopee, with co-payment from the government to subsidise room prices by 50%.

Ms Marisa said garnering support from locals for the notion of welcoming international tourists into the country remains an important factor to support tourism.

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Svcoquette | 14 September 2020 - 15:09:03

Why not keep the foreign tourists you have and not force them to leave 26 Sept. Copy what Malaysia has done to allow all foreign tourists to remain until at least 31 Dec, the latest RMCO ( Recovery Movement Control Order) Malaysia has issued.

CaptainJack69 | 14 September 2020 - 12:30:37

Soft loans? Ha. With no income the banks are going to lend them anything? Because they are refusing everyone else.

 

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