Government Urged to Include Expats in Future Tourism Stimulation Packages

The newly elected President of the Thai Hotels Association has asked the government to include expatriates in the second phase of tourism stimulus, saying those who pay tax should receive equal rights.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi said the stimulus campaign for locals has run since July 18th, but the slow response is a sign of weak domestic consumption as locals opt for stringent saving amid the economic slowdown.

Ms Marisa suggested the government focus on another potential target that could help drive the domestic economy, namely expatriates in Thailand, who could be included in the second phase of the stimulus campaign.

“We need to treat expatriates who live and pay tax here the same way we treat locals,” she said.  In her view the scheme needs more attractive privileges, such as an increase in the subsidy for accommodation spending from 40% to 50%, or the launch of a tax deduction for tourism spending as in the past.

Ms Marisa said the outbreak is a temporary challenge for which operators need financial aid, such as soft loans, while they wait for international tourists to return. Such liquidity support can prevent more damage to the economy in the long run, she said.  She said the new THA committee members will actively seek financial support, including soft loans and a tourism fund, to save hotels from collapse and help them maintain business until Thailand can welcome a new flow of inbound tourists.