Hotels eager for handout to have tourism category
text size

Hotels eager for handout to have tourism category

As the Pheu Thai Party promises a 10,000-baht digital wallet giveaway, tourism operators are hoping the scheme will extend its spending range from a 4-kilometre radius to enable hotels to benefit.

The leader of the coalition that hopes to form the next government announced last week a pledge to disburse 10,000 baht via digital wallets in the first half of next year to stimulate the local economy. Requirements include spending must be within a 4km radius from the recipient's home address and within a period of six months.

Udom Srimahachota, vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association's western chapter, said domestic consumption from the giveaway would mainly benefit restaurants or shops.

Hotels would gain almost nothing as most people use them when travelling away from home, he said.

The association wants a tourism category that would allow spending at hotels outside a 4km radius for this handout.

Mr Udom said while the digital wallet handout could help increase revenue for small and medium-sized operators, the economic impact would be restricted.

He said some locals might use the digital money for luxury accommodation near their residence, that would apply only to Bangkok, not other provinces.

For Hua Hin and Cha-am, Mr Udom said he believes locals would use this giveaway on items such as electronic appliances rather than spending it on rooms or buffets at hotels.

If a tourism category is included in this handout, he said the government could apply the structure of previous stimulus campaigns, such as a hotel registration programme to guarantee that people spend the funds outside their provinces, or a shared payment structure where tourists pay 40% via the digital wallet and 60% of their own money.

The tourism industry would really prefer a sixth phase of the "We Travel Together" stimulus scheme, which should be separate from the digital wallets, during the low season next year, said Mr Udom.

If a new phase is launched, it should focus on helping secondary cities and restricting eligible hotels to those below four stars, as small operators still report low revenues compared with upscale properties in major tourism provinces, he said.

Mr Udom said tourism stimulus remains necessary for Thailand both this year and next as China, the sector's main target, has yet to fully recover.

Chinese visitors might spend less than before because of tepid domestic growth, he said.

Do you like the content of this article?