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Thai government proposal to take additional steps to boost tourism

6 Jul 2020

The Finance Ministry of Thailand is proposing expanding the Thiew Pan Sook (Happiness Sharing Tour) initiative to include tourism focused on the environment and agriculture while offering exposure to soft loans for tourism operators and airlines.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak emphasized the need for the government to take additional steps to boost the declining domestic economy amid a global economic downturn and provide jobs for several Thais who have returned and their home provinces following the closing of the COVID-19 pandemic companies.

He told the media today that he has ordered the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to speed the execution of projects under the 400 billion baht system of economic reconstruction, with the top priority being provided to those that generate employment in rural areas.

Dr. Somkid today chaired a meeting with Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santipraphob, NESDB, and private sector leaders like the Thai Banks Group, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Thai Industries Federation.

The Deputy Prime Minister said granting tourist operators and airlines access to soft loans would help boost their liquidity and avoid a repeat of the closures experienced during the 1997 "tom yum gung" economic crisis.

Meanwhile, Mr. Uttama said he had ordered the NESDB and the Thai Loan Guarantee Company to implement steps, guarantee loans to be provided to small and medium-sized businesses and expand the debt recovery cycle for small and medium firms.

Concerning the expansion of the Thiew Pan Sook tourism program, the Finance Minister said the Revenue Department is in the process of formulating steps to enable customers to invest in travel and tourism programs, adding that he expects a better image of the proposals by the middle of this month.

He stressed that the tourism stimuli are not directed at boosting the economy but at generating or sustaining employment in the tourism industry.

As for the final category of 1,2 million welfare cardholders who are yet to collect any government subsidies, Mr. Uttama said that between July 4th and 7th, they would each earn 3,000 baht wired to their bank accounts.