Monday, March 01, 2021

Elite Card sales hit a purple patch despite overall Covid-19 gloom

Feb 19. 2021
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By The Nation

While the Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected many tourism and related businesses, the sales of "Elite Card" have surpassed the target.

The government also has many measures to stimulate investment via Elite Card, said Somchai Sungsawang, president of Thailand Privilege Card Company (TPC).

He said Covid-19 had not affect sales of Elite Card.

Somchai said that every year the annual growth target is set at an average 10 per cent per year. In fiscal year 2020, the company had aimed to sell 2,288 cards but actually sold 2,600, while sales in fiscal 2019 were 2,143 cards.

TPC has a sales target of 2,560 cards (a normal growth of 10 per cent per year) in fiscal 2021, but three months into the first quarter of fiscal 2021 (October-December 2020) 1,516 cards had already been sold, a 140 per cent growth compared to the same period last year.

More and more foreigners are interested in buying the Elite Card, he said. There are three main factors boosting sales: Thailand has good measures to control Covid-19; the Immigration Office has extended stay for stranded tourists, so they come to buy the Elite Card, and, foreign groups who already hold a long-stay visa, including groups holding a Non-B work visa, change to an Elite Card because these groups want TPC to facilitate visa issues, providing convenience at the airport, and VIP services that Elite Card members receive. Despite the new coronavirus outbreak, a large number of applications were received. Therefore, Elite Card sales this year are also likely to grow above the target.

This year, the company has expanded its dealership to four more companies: HIS (Japan Tour), Mandarin Accounting, Shanghai Mobao (China), and Nusasiri, depending on specialists in each field as a sales representative. For example, Nusasiri, which has been working on Wellness apps (WMA), was able to increase sales of Elite Card. As a result, Elite Card has a total of 20 sales representatives as an international company.

After the Thai government eased arrivals for Elite Cardholders, around 700 people arrived, most of them British, followed by the United States and Japan. Chinese people have bought the most number of Elite cards for investment.

The company expects to wipe out its remaining accumulated loss of Bt246 million this year, two years earlier than expected. Covid-19 has not only increased card sales, but TPC has fewer expenses from members who use various services in terms of benefits of the card, compared to the pre-Covid-19 period.

Somchai said two projects will be launched this year -- ‘Elite Flexible One’ at Bt500,000, and ‘Elite Flexible Plus’ at Bt1 million, expecting to sell around 1,000 cards, stimulating investment in Thailand of around Bt30 billion

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