The fifth phase of the 50-50 co-payment economic stimulus scheme is being studied, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who admitted today (Friday) that the national budget is depleted and that the government must be very cautious when spending, while the “We Travel Together” and “Tour Tiew Thai” domestic tourism subsidy programs have been extended till September.
The prime minister said how to proceed with the co-payment scheme and to what extent is being studied. He hinted, however, that, if the scheme is to be extended, as proposed by the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade, and cover everyone, as was the case in the four previous phases, between 40 and 50 billion baht would be required.
“We are looking how much can be done,” said the prime minister.
Today, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), chaired by the prime minister, also approved the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s proposal for the extension of 4th Phase of the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) until the end of September, as well as one million more entitlements for the program, with residual budget of 4 billion baht, according to TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
He said that the extended scheme can commence immediately, but needs some adjustments related to legal technicalities related to protection of private information and system adjustment. This will be resolved between the National Economic and Social Development Council and the state-run Krung Thai Bank.
The fourth phase of “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” tourism scheme started in February and is due to expire in July. So far, two million “entitlements” have been granted and only half of them have been used.
Under the scheme, recipients are be entitled to 40% discount on hotel room rates, but the room rate must not exceed 3,000 baht per night per room. Each “entitlement” is for one room.
The CESA has also approved the extension of the “Tour Tiew Thai” program until end of September for the remaining 130,000 “entitlements”.
Under this program, which is aimed at helping travel agents, recipients will have to buy a package tour to travel and will be given a discount of 40%, but not exceeding 5,000 baht. The scheme is for inter-provincial travel, but this package cannot be used for hotel accommodation at the same time as travel under the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” for the same hotels.