Elite Card to push wealth management
Thailand Privilege Card Co (TPC), the operator of Thailand Elite Card, is set to launch a wealth management service in 2018 to help expand membership and encourage spending and investment.
During the current fiscal year running through the end of September 2018, the company will continue to focus on expanding membership among investors, business owners and retired foreigners because these groups are expected to be tourism revenue drivers for Thailand, said TPC president Pruet Boobphakam.
Also targeted are those who buy property in Thailand ranging in price from 5 million to 10 million baht. Thailand lets foreigners buy and own units in condominiums.
Under the 2018 theme of "Simply Extraordinary Country Residency Programme Crafted for Friends of Thailand", TPC plans to introduce wealth management with products tailored to residents' needs.
TPC has seven card categories for membership, varying by privileges and price (500,000 to 2 million baht) and covering every target group of foreigners.
For fiscal 2017 to Sept 30 this year, TPC posted revenue of 663 million baht, up from 403 million the year before. Net profit was 389 million baht, up from 201 million last year.
Mr Pruet credited the improved performance to the addition of new categories of membership cards, increased distribution channels, the appointment of Henley & Partners and IBC Aviation as global dealers, and roadshows organised with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
TPC is still shouldering a deficit of 771 million baht from last year's operations, down from 891 million in 2015.
As of Nov 20, there are 5,040 Elite Card members from various countries.
Cardholders enjoy visa benefits, helping members stay in Thailand from five to 20 years -- the longest visa validity issued by the government -- without having to leave the country for visa runs.
Elite Card holders are also eligible for discounts on services such as golfing, wellness/spas, restaurants, hotels and medical services.
During the past year, TPC has worked with Henley & Partners and its 28 offices globally to help expand Elite Card membership. TPC also teamed up with IBC Aviation as a European markets specialist to connect with potential applicants in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Monaco, Switzerland and French-speaking territories.
TPC, which its fully owned by the TAT, has mapped out a vision to promote Thai tourism and welcome rich travellers to Thailand.
The Elite Card has received good feedback from wealthy Chinese travellers who favour Thailand for its comfortable atmosphere. Chinese memberships were the most numerous this year, followed by British, American and Japanese.