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in-focus

Tourism stimulus schemes likely to be extended to year-end


Ministry still expects to go ahead with July 1 launch date of Phuket Tourism Sandbox.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry plans to ask the Cabinet to extend the August 31 deadline of two of its tourism stimulus campaigns to the end of the year, Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said on Wednesday.

He added that the ministry is still maintaining the July 1 launch date of its all-important Phuket Tourism Sandbox campaign.

“As the Covid-19 situation is still escalating with an increasing number of new infections, we decided that the campaigns should be extended until the end of the year to attract more people to travel domestically when the situation improves,” he said.

The Rao Tiew Duay Kan (We Travel Together) travel subsidy campaign will start on May 7 and the Tour Tiew Thai scheme will hit the road on May 27.

Under Rao Tiew Duay Kan, eligible registrants will receive a 40 per cent discount on hotel rooms and restaurants. They will also get an e-voucher when checking into a hotel as well as a 40 per cent flight refund when they check out. The subsidy is capped at 2 million room nights and registrants must reserve rooms at least seven days in advance.

The new Tour Tiew Thai co-payment scheme will see the government covering up to 40 per cent of tour package costs for a maximum of one million people. The subsidy is capped at Bt5,000 per trip, while registrants can reserve trips that start from May until August (as per the original deadline).

Both campaigns are aimed at Thai nationals aged over 18.

Pipat also said the ministry is still maintaining the original July 1 launch date of its Phuket Tourism Sandbox as “the campaign will serve as a pilot programme for other provinces, therefore it needs to be implemented as soon as we can”.

Under this scheme, tourists who can verify they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into Phuket and move around freely without having to quarantine.

Similar schemes will be run in other top tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang Nga and Koh Samui later, once more people have been vaccinated and preventive measures are put in place there.

“About 200,000 residents in Phuket have already been vaccinated and we expect to inoculate another 750,000 in May-June to complete the goal of having at least 70 per cent of Phuket locals vaccinated before the campaign starts,” Pipat added.

Published : May 06, 2021

By : THE NATION