Thailand Elite Card eyes B1.5bn in revenue
Plan to woo upper classes in South Asia, Oceania with five-year visa
Thailand Privilege Card Co, the operator of Thailand Elite Card, has outlined plans to focus on five lucrative markets in Asia-Pacific and Europe with the aim of selling 2,460 cards and generating 1.5 billion baht in revenue in 2020.
The company hopes to persuade the upper classes of Bangladesh/India, Australia/New Zealand, Britain, China and Japan to buy a 500,000-baht membership card.
The card's perks include a five-year multiple entry visa to Thailand, limousine pickups from the airport and assistance with immigration and 90-day reporting.
Somchai Soongswang, the newly appointed president of Thailand Privilege Card, pointed to the trend of younger tech workers relocating from China and Japan to Thailand, a segment the company hopes to tap.
Thailand Privilege Card is planning to hire more sales personnel in other countries like Australia and Britain, as well as expand sales operations to other airports beyond Suvarnabhumi and Phuket.
The company reported revenue of 1.3 billion baht, a 27% year-on-year increase, for fiscal 2019 (Oct 1, 2018-Sept 30, 2019).
As of Sept 30, members using the card in 125 countries totalled 8,602, up from 7,135 the year before.
Mr Somchai expects the number of card holders to hit 10,000 within the next fiscal year.
China accounted for 1,747 of Thai Elite holders, an 88% year-on-year increase, followed by Britain (479), Japan (443), the US (387) and France (348).
The most popular type of card is the Elite Easy Access for a five-year stay, costing 500,000 baht, followed by the Elite Superiority Extension for a 20-year stay (1 million baht) and the Elite Family Excursion for a five-year stay (800,000 baht).
The company posted a 200-million-baht net profit for fiscal 2019, Mr Somchai said, adding that he expects the company to clear its cumulative losses within the next few years.
The Thai Elite residency programme was started by the government in 2003 to attract high-spending foreigners to the country.
Mr Somchai said Thailand ranked fourth out of 20 countries in the Global Residence Program Index for 2018-19.
The index ranks countries by preference for overseas residency, with Thailand winning high marks for reputation and cost of living.