Thailand to become a Safe Haven for Wealthy Visitors?

12 Feb 2021

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Billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont is trying to persuade the government to ease lockdown measures to welcome foreign travellers as soon as possible. Turning the country into a "safe haven" for rich visitors.

Mr Dhanin, who is the senior chairman of the kingdom's largest food and agriculture conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, said the move would help revive the tourism sector.

"Thailand's economic losses from the lockdown are estimated to be at 16 billion baht per day or almost 500 billion per month," he told the Bangkok Post. "A longer lockdown will cost us more and more."

Thailand has been under lockdown measures since March 9 when the government acted to stop a rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases. The government said the coronavirus infection rate is now about 1%.

The economic impact of the lockdown shows hard as millions of workers applied for unemployment benefits. The tourism sector has been hit hard after the kingdom stopped receiving in foreign visitors.

"We can't wait until a vaccine is developed and produced in sufficient quantity to roll out to the entire population," Mr Dhanin said. "The economy won't survive that long."

He said the tourism sector accounted for 16-17% percent of GDP and should be worked with due to good results here in the virus situation.

Mr Dhanin proposed to the government attracting high-spending tourists from around the globe by highlighting Thailand's success in containing the spread of the Coronavirus.

"The number of infection and death cases in Thailand is very low compared with other countries, even though our lockdown began later," he said. "There were also a large number of Chinese tourists in the country."

"This reflects the fact that our doctors and hospitals are the best and we need to tell the world about it," he said.

Mr Dhanin came into Forbes magazine's "Thailand's 50 Richest" this year. He is part of 20 moguls in the kingdom whom Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asked to work with relief projects to help people affected by the outbreak.

He said the government should take advantage of Thailand's low Covid-19 figures and turn the kingdom into a "safe haven" for wealthy individuals from around the world.

"We have five-star hotels and resorts; we also have five-star hospitals and the best doctors," Mr Dhanin said. "If we can make rich people feel confident that staying in Thailand is safer than their own countries then they will come."

He said now is the time for Thailand to shift its tourism image from "quantity to quality".

Full article at Source Bangkok Post