934 More Hotels & Shops Accused of Defrauding Travel Co-Payment Scheme

Hotels and Shops Accused of Fraud
Representatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand file complaints against hotels and shops.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has brought charges against 934 more hotels and shops for fraudulent claims on the government’s “We Travel Together” co-payment scheme, with total damage now estimated at 1.7 billion baht.

On Friday, TAT deputy governor Somradee Chitchong, accompanied by legal staff, filed the complaints with the Crime Suppression Division. She refused to talk with reporters.

CSD deputy commander Pol Col Anek Taosupab said the complaint named 448 hotels and 486 shops, mostly in southern tourist destinations.

TAT earlier laid similar complaints against other business in Chaiyaphum and Phuket provinces. Their alleged offences included fake check-ins at hotels and overcharging on bills, all used to claim government subsidies.

Damage nationwide from fraudulent claims made for the subsidy now totalled about 1.7 billion baht, Pol Col Taosupab said.

The subsidy was intended to support the COVID-hit tourism sector.  The government pays 40% of regular room rates for tourists registered for the programme. They pay the balance, getting a hefty discount. The subsidy was initially capped at 3,000 baht per night for up to five consecutive nights, but it was expanded to 10 nights.

The government also pays 40% of the price of air tickets, up to a maximum of 3,000 baht per person.

Each tourist also receives an e-voucher for other spending valued at 600 baht for use from Friday to Sunday and 900 baht from Monday to Thursday.