Ministry Pledges Stimulus Tourism Packages

Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said his ministry will spend some Bt120 million to promote and stimulate tourism with the goal of achieving at least 7-per-cent growth this year.

Phiphat said the Bt120 million will be spent on stimulus projects and is in addition to the plan to hand out Bt1,000 cash to Thais to spend on tourism, which is a measure of the Finance Ministry.

Phiphat said the budget would be spent on at least three measures.

One measure focuses on a project dubbed “Bt100 visit to all parts of Thailand”. The project will randomly select 10,000 lucky persons on September 9, October 10, November 11, and December 12 who will be given a tourism package for which they will only be required to pay Bt100.

In another measure, the Tourism and Sports Ministry will develop an e-wallet application for tourists to use to spend during their travels and which gives them 15-per-cent cash back.

In the third measure, tourists will be encouraged to travel on weekdays instead of weekends and long holidays and receive a range of privileges and discounts, Phiphat said. He said the details of the third measure have yet to be worked out.

The minister added that he would continue to push for entry visa exemption for tourists from China and India although the Cabinet has already rejected the idea.

He said his ministry is further studying the proposal and will submit it to the Cabinet a second time for consideration. Even the Cabinet rejects the proposal again, Phiphat said, he is confident that tourism will see at least seven per cent growth, which is below than the projection of 9.5 per cent expected by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Phiphat expressed confidence that the goal of having 40 million foreign tourists visiting the kingdom this year would be reached. He said the foreign tourists would spend around Bt3.37 trillion in the kingdom.

As part of the tourism promotion measures for foreign visitors, the government would put Thailand forward as an international exhibition hub and try to maintain Thailand’s status as the top tourist destination in Asean. 

“I would like to tell foreign tourists that Thailand has returned to full democracy, so they can come back to visit the country again,” Phiphat said, adding that quality tourists from western nations had stopped visiting the kingdom for more than five years.