CCSA clears 500 Elite Card members
Over 50 in programme have already arrived
About 500 Thailand Elite Card members have been approved by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to visit the country, according to Thailand Privilege Card Co (TPC).
Of the total, 52 card holders, mostly from Germany and Britain, have already entered the country, said Somchai Soongswang, president of TPC, a state-owned enterprise that operates the Thailand Elite Card programme under the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
In August and September, the company received 900 new membership applications a month from foreign investors and entrepreneurs, compared with 400 a month before the pandemic.
The TPC will work closely with the Foreign Ministry to ease the process of acquiring the Certificate of Entry (COE) for the remaining members who express an intention to enter.
This group of foreigners has an average spending of US$100 per person per day and can boost the national economy, Mr Somchai said.
He said the ongoing political situation is unlikely to harm the confidence of Thailand Elite Card members.
Meanwhile, the two new measures under the Elite Flexible Program aiming to drive at least $1 million in investment from each member will be effective for the short term or about two years after the scheme launches in January 2021.
Selling at least 1,000 cards under the programme is a reachable goal and can compliment the fiscal year target, which was set at 2,500 memberships, Mr Somchai said.
During fiscal 2020, which ended in September, the TPC took in 1.6 billion baht, up 26.7%.
There were 2,674 new members added, up 24.8% year-on-year, thanks to the outstanding performance in September and October.
Mr Somchai said the company had a yearly net profit of more than 200 million baht.
"The company wishes to rebound from a cumulative loss of 555 million baht [as of Sept 30, 2019] within the next two years," he said.
As of Sept 30, the number of Thailand Elite Card holders was 11,132. Most come from China, Japan, South Korea, Britain and the US.
Markets with the highest growth rate in the fiscal year were China (up 52%), followed by the US and Germany (44% each), France (31%) and Britain (29%).
Elite Easy Access, which costs 500,000 baht and features a five-year multiple-entry visa, is the most popular membership package, accounting for 61% of membership.
TPC recently introduced a new type of card, Elite Maxima Health, offering a five-year membership plan to foreigners. The card worth 1.5 million baht was launched on Oct 1.
Members of this category will receive health and wellness privileges, including annual medical check-ups, access to local and overseas hospitals, 5 million baht in health insurance coverage per year and spa treatments.