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Tourism and Sports Ministry targets 10mn high-season domestic trips

Tourism and Sports Ministry targets 10mn high-season domestic trips

BANGKOK: The Tourism and Sports Ministry has committed to pushing for 10 million domestic trips per month during high season following the Cabinet’s approval of more financial aid measures on Tuesday, reports the Bangkok Post.

economics
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 4 November 2020, 11:53AM


Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn in Phuket Town late yesterday afternoon (Nov 3). Photo: MoTS

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn in Phuket Town late yesterday afternoon (Nov 3). Photo: MoTS

After the government lifted the lockdown in the second quarter, the number of domestic trips gradually picked up from merely 90,000 in April to 8.5 million in September, but has yet to cross the 10-million-trip threshold despite government stimulus schemes, the Bangkok Post noted.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said improved scenarios are expected in the last two months of this year, the high season for the domestic market, while measures approved by the government may help operators run their businesses at a steadier pace.

The improved performance in domestic tourism started during the partial lockdown in May with 505,000 trips, before growing to 3.2 million in June, 7.4 million in July and 8.4 million in August.

Vichit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta), said increasing the allocation of soft loans from B20 million to B100mn and allowing the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) to provide loan guarantees to operators that cannot access financial aid certainly can increase opportunities for operators to receive soft loans.

If the reference regulations remain rigid, such as requiring collateral, cash flow statements and credit bureau credibility, only a small number of operators are eligible for the scheme.

He suggested the government allows a cross-guarantee measure to let three to five companies in the same tourism business act as guarantors for each company instead.

This type of guarantee will help operators who do not have their own collateral access soft loans more easily, he said.

“Everyone is mired in difficult situations as a result of the pandemic,” Mr Vichit said.

“Further relaxations for soft loans are desperately needed to help [operators] stay afloat.”

The Cabinet approved various measures yesterday to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and tourism operators affected by the crisis, said the report.

The Government Savings Bank’s (GSB) soft loan scheme for tourism-related businesses has increased to no more than B100mn baht per borrower from the previous cap of B20mn, the report repeated.

Under the scheme, the GSB provides loans to commercial banks at a 0.01% interest per year in an attempt to have banks re-extend lending to business operators at 2% interest per year for two years.

The loan application period has been extended to June 30, 2021.

Tourism business operators were also granted approval under the B57-billion portfolio guarantee scheme conducted by Soft Loan Plus under the TCG.

Under this soft loan scheme provided to SMEs, the TCG charges a commission fee of 1.75% per year under the eight-year loan guarantee period.

Other approved measures comprise extending the loan application period for the GSB’s B5bn soft loan scheme to rehabilitate the tourism industry to June 30, 2021, and the B10bn Extra Cash scheme under the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank to June 30, 2021.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said the Cabinet approval of financial measures will help tourism operators retain their employees, concluded the report.

 

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DeKaaskopp | 12 November 2020 - 14:48:50

@Kurt  "defusing, derailing,diverting" ? Great choice of words ! What part of my comment didn't you understand ?Except for the first sentence it had nothing to do with Indian tourists.

Kurt | 12 November 2020 - 11:45:03

Dek is trying 'defusing' that 'domestic' of Galong by 
derailing attention to Indian tourists. Indian tourists are no domestic tourists, DeK. Stick to the domestic (Thai) subject. Always diverting, hilarious.

Kurt | 12 November 2020 - 11:03:18

We will see a 'New Normal' price setting for everything in Thailand. And in 'New Normal' there should be no price differences for Thai and Foreigners, same as in other developed countries. So Thailand, catch up a few centuries if you want tourists to return ( without barrack regimental settings). Treat them as guests.

Kurt | 12 November 2020 - 10:43:47

@Galong. I understand your thinking and business planning. Fact remains that Thai know foreigners pay foreigner prices for everything. And Thai are used to the 'thai menu's'. So the word 'discount' lays in front of their mouth. Thai laugh seeing what foreigners pay for everything, but they not willing to join in that. Bottom line, businesses now have to Thai adjust or close dow...

DeKaaskopp | 12 November 2020 - 09:42:58

@Galong Asking direct for a discount is usually what Indian tourist do.Apart from that it isn't unusual to give discounts in times like this. But if you are so inflexible, I'm not surprised that you can't afford to retire in your home country after so many years working in Thailand ( as stated by yourself in an earlier comment ).

Galong | 12 November 2020 - 08:06:30

Quality outdoor adventure tours are likely a thing of the past.  Domestic tourists shop by price and price alone. The few domestic travelers who have contacted us say 'discount' in their first sentence when they inquire. We would shut our business down before we run low-quality heavily discounted tours. 

JSombra | 07 November 2020 - 20:46:52

They do realise its "high season" because of foreign tourists not domestic? Domestic "high seasons" are based around thai school year and public holidays. Ie next one is just before Songkran

Paulnou | 04 November 2020 - 22:17:44

Then at best 30% less local tourists than last year & at much lower revenurs level too due numerous discounts, Super!!!! Better than nothing are we getting used to say, but millions still out of jobs 

 

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