TCT seeks support to save up to 2.5m jobs
The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) is calling for a direct financial support package geared towards the tourism sector to save 2-2.5 million jobs as the third wave shows no signs of abating.
Chamnan Srisawat, president of the TCT, said council members want more relaxation on soft loans and is asking the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation to help because most operators do not have land or assets to use as collateral.
The monthly salary co-payment scheme is another urgent financial aid that could prevent mass layoffs.
If the government fails to take this proposal into consideration, the hospitality sector will risk losing skilled workers and competitiveness in the global arena when international tourism resumes.
He said these two measures will help operators maintain their businesses until borders are reopened.
However, the TCT has requested financial aid since last year, but there has been no response from the government.
"The situation we're facing is no different from lockdown last year, but we don't receive concrete support to stay afloat," said Mr Chamnan. "Many operators won't be able to make it through the next three months."
Besides job support, the government is also failing to take leadership to build public trust in vaccines, said Chotechuang Soorangura, vice-president of the Association of Domestic Travel (ADT).
There is unclear information about age groups in relation to each vaccine, and a lack of information about the causes of side effects.
People are also curious about the vaccine procurement process and the procedure to let private hospitals order alternative vaccines which could lead to a faster pace of herd immunity.
Mr Chotechuang said operators struggle to keep a healthy cash flow. They have to employ cost cutting methods, while seeking alternative revenue streams, such as selling other products.
Tourism operators have to keep a close eye on recovery signs. They have to follow the movements of influencers, such as travel bloggers, in order to create travel packages that meet demand.
Thanapol Cheewarattanaporn, ADT president, said the association will today hold discussions with the Tourism Authority of Thailand regarding conditions of the Tour Teaw Thai (Travel Around Thailand) scheme to maximise benefits for both operators and tourists.
The new campaign, which was postponed indefinitely from May 27, will offer a 40% subsidy but not exceeding 5,000 baht on tour packages to 1 million tourists.