PHUKET: The benefits offered through the government-sponsored We Travel Together domestic tourism campaign have been expanded in the hope of encouraging more people to travel throughout the country. Expats remain excluded from the campaign, but the expansion now allows registered businesses to take advantage of the cheap deals offered.
The Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) approved to increase the benefits offered in order to stimulate domestic tourism and national economy, reports the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
The PR Phuket report noted that since the campaign began in July, around 4.46 million people had registered to book deals through the We Travel Together portal.
Subsequently, a total of 625,606 guest accommodation rooms had been booked, together valued at around B1.8 billion, rpeorted PR Phuket.
The campaign was initially hoped to bring Phuket alone a B100 million boost to the island’s suffering tourism industry.
Under the initial benefits provided through the scheme, the government paid for 40% of the hotel rooms, but not more than B3,000 per night, limited to five rooms and five nights.
However, the CESA has now approved for the 40% hotel room rate support extended from five nights per person to 10 nights, but not more than B3,000 per night.
Likewise, the government will continue to subsidise 40% of the price of flight tickets, but with the maximum claim increased from B1,000 to B2,000.
To expand the market base for those allowed to claim the government subsidised discounts, the CESA has approved for registered businesses to book holidays through the scheme.
Allowing businesses to take part in the campaign has opened the doors for expats living and working in the country to book holidays through the scheme, but leaves other expats, including retirees, still excluded from the campaign.
The newly elected President of the Thai Hotels Association, Marisa Nunbhakdi, asked the government to include expatriates in the second phase of tourism stimulus, saying those who pay tax should receive equal rights.
The stimulus campaign for locals had run since July 18, but the slow response is a sign of weak domestic consumption as locals opt for stringent saving amid the economic slowdown, Ms Marisa said last week.
Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on August 27, 2020