TPC upbeat about Elite Flexible One programme

TPC upbeat about Elite Flexible One programme

The Elite Flexible One scheme aimed at boosting condo sales received a tepid response in the early stage, while a rise in membership is expected to begin in March, according to Thailand Privilege Card Co (TPC).

Investors are contemplating the price as sales in the property market have declined, so it will take until around March to see demand coming back, said Somchai Soongswang, president of TPC, operator of Thailand Elite Card which is owned by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Potential buyers have to discuss with developers directly before making a decision which might take time to conclude.

Among the developers who have joined the programme are Raimon Land and AP Thailand, while eight other developers are waiting to sign up, he said.

The Elite Flexible One scheme, launched on Jan 1, offers a 500,000-baht membership with a five-year multiple-entry visa for members who purchase properties worth 10 million baht in Thailand.

The Chinese market is the key target for membership.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2021 (Oct 1, 2020-Sept 30, 2021), TPC recorded 1,516 members, compared to 632 during the same period last year.

Most of the new members came from China, Japan and the UK.

As of Dec 31, 2020, the number of cardholders closed at 12,593 members globally.

Even though half of new members in the first quarter are entrepreneurs, TPC has seen a growing trend of applications from medical professionals from Japan and Germany amid the global pandemic, which highlights confidence in the healthcare system in Thailand.

"Besides being a well-known tourism destination, the country's healthcare system is the reason why Elite Card holders decide to visit Thailand," Mr Somchai said.

Some 647 Thailand Elite Card members already visited the country during the border lockdown period last year, most of them from the UK, while 63 members are waiting for available flights.

As of January, another 1,530 members have been approved to enter the country.

TPC will work closely with the Foreign Ministry to speed up the documentation process to issue a certificate of eligibility and facilitate members as much as possible, he said. However, the difference in each government's policies on travel restrictions may affect the number of flights to Thailand.

Mr Somchai said the recent surge in infections did not impact the number of new applicants in December as there were 500 applicants per month, the same figure recorded in October.

However, the number of applicants is expected to be lower in January as the price for the five-year Elite Easy Access, which is the best-selling package, has increased from 500,000 baht to 600,000 since Jan 1.

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