Tourism operators in Thailand urge Finance Ministry to offer cash handouts to people for domestic travel

 Wednesday, July 24, 2019 


Tourism operators are asking the Finance Ministry of Thailand to speed up plans to offer cash handouts to people for domestic travel to support the sector during the low season.


The duration of such handouts should run from September until the end of December, with the amount at least 2,000 Baht, higher than the 1,500 Baht proposed by the ministry officials, said Phuriwat Limthavornrat, president of the Association of Domestic Travel.


Under the plan, the cash handout will be given to 10 million travellers who register to visit small provinces on a first-come, first-served basis. Registered tourists must show up at destinations before getting the money.


However, the scheme must be implemented quickly, since delay could hurt the industry, which has been moderate in the rainy season, Mr. Phuriwat said.


The sluggish global economy has declined foreign tourist arrivals, with growth of only 0.7% in the first six months of this year.


Mr. Pipat said earlier that he wants to promote the use of cannabis substances in medical tourism for attracting visitors from the West, like Europe, who are quite positive about the plant.


But Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, the president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, was not too keen about the idea, saying that the use of marijuana must be closely supervised by specialists.


He also doubted whether the idea would sufficiently attract tourists from Europe and the US because he believes that marijuana is not a priority product for them.


Instead, Mr. Chairat suggested the ministry to focus on safety and security measures for tourists.


He proposed several tourist safety projects like safety on tourist buses by installing camera surveillance systems on each bus to monitor trained drivers.


Improving local tour guide standards, particularly for marine attractions, including guides on boats and dive sites, has already started, said Mr. Chairat.


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