Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Soft loans for tourism operators mulled in bid to avert worker layoff 

Feb 15. 2020
Uttama Savanayana
Uttama Savanayana
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By THE NATION

The Finance Ministry may extend soft loans to operators in the tourism sector, currently reeling from the coronavorus crisis, as a means to avert a mass layoff of workers. 

Minister Uttama Savanayana made the remark on Friday (February 14) after a meeting of the ministry's agencies on measures to mitigate impact of the virus on the sector.

Soft loan was one of the options discussed in the meeting, he said, adding that the meeting focused on short-term measures. 

The Finance Ministry may also offer incentives to tourism operators as an encouragement for keeping their employees, Uttama said. 

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who presided over the meeting, said he had instructed all state agencies present in the meeting to immediately draw up measures and rush them to the Cabinet. He wants to see their implementation in March.

Somkid added that both the finance and tourism ministries would have to launch new packages to promote domestic travel by Thais. For example, there should be a package designed for elderly travellers and their kids can use their travel spending receipts for a deduction in income tax.

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