Thai tourists who make hotel bookings under the Rao Tiew Duay Kan (We Travel Together) co-payment scheme will be able to postpone or cancel reservations if they have health concerns following the new wave of local COVID-19 infections.
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said collaboration is underway with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to allow for postponements or cancellations in the wake of growing outbreak concerns.
The ministry is holding talks with the tourism and hotel associations to address the matter, he said.
The Comptroller-General’s Department and Krung Thai Bank will add a feature to “Pao Tang” app, which is used for identification and payment in the scheme, to allow tourists to cancel or postpone their reservations.
He said hotel bookings might be postponed by six months or possibly longer.
Under the Rao Tiew Duay Kan scheme designed to raise consumer demand to revive the tourism industry and related businesses, participants will pay only 60% of the normal room rates, with the government responsible for the rest.
The subsidy was initially capped at 3,000 baht per night for up to five consecutive nights in the first stage and it is now expanded to 10 nights.
Tourists also automatically receive an e-voucher for other expenditure valued at 600 baht from Friday to Sunday and 900 baht from Monday to Thursday under the scheme.
The government also helps pay 40% of the price of air tickets, up to a maximum of 3,000 baht per person, up from 1,000 baht and 2,000 baht in the first few months of the scheme.
While admitting the resurgence of COVID-19 infections will affect the economy, especially local spending as cancellations of travel plans are expected, Mr Termpittayapaisith said the remaining funds under the 1-trillion-baht loan decree, or about 700 billion baht, are sufficient to cope with the impacts of the current outbreak.
The finance minister also assured public-private partnership investments in 2021 will not be stalled.