Thailand’s Tourism Ministry is set to propose a domestic travel stimulus plan worth Bt5 billion ($US159 Million) to cabinet this Friday. In an effort to cushion the impact of the coronavirus for the tourism sector nationwide.
Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said domestic tourism is the priority target during this difficult time. The government needs to implement a plan to accelerate domestic travel. Also giving local travellers more purchasing power, he said.
According to the Bangkok Post Mr Phiphat said the 5-billion-baht budget proposal will come from the 2020 central budget.
Under the plan, the government will offer Bt1,000 to 5 million local travellers. It will be offered through the Pao Tang mobile app from Krungthai Bank to buy tour packages. Recipients must book travel to areas outside their home registration province. Also with the condition of at least one night stay.
Each province will receive a different quota amount based on population. Tourists have to start their trips from their hometowns.
Tourism Thailand to set up tour packages
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and tourism associations nationwide will come up with the tour packages. Hopefully generating income for buses, hotels, restaurants, shops and tourism destinations.
Mr Phiphat expects the tourism plan will stimulate expenditure of Bt25 billion into the Thai economy.
He said the ministry estimates the coronavirus will slow after Songkran. And above all be under complete control from June.
Mr Phiphat also plans to discuss the delaying the new school semester from May with the Education Ministry. Saying it would create a flow of tourists, particularly families that would benefit from a longer school break.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TaT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said controlling the outbreak is a top priority.
Local travellers are still hesitant, so the TAT has to find solutions to refresh their sentiment, said Mr Yuthasak.
Promoting visa-free entry for China and India
He suggested local travellers travel and organize meetings in small groups for a few months. Above all in compliance with guidelines for disease control.
In addition to the latest domestic stimulus plan, the ministry will also propose other measures for local operators. Such as more accessible soft loans for small businesses and waiving both principal and interest payments for one year, said Mr Phiphat.
He also insists on promoting visa-free entry for two major tourist markets, China and India. Also seeking further clarity on the extension of the 2,000-baht visa-on-arrival fee waiver. Within this month because the existing exemption is scheduled to expire on April 30.