Survey highlights tourism concerns

25-Jan-2021 Intellasia | Bangkok Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Tourism operators have pinpointed their most urgent needs during the pandemic, with cost reduction considered to be essential, according to a Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) survey.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the authority talked with the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) about a plan to safeguard jobs in the tourism industry and maintain purchasing power to support the economy.

A survey was conducted during January 10-12 among 1,884 tourism-related operators nationwide, of which 65 percent were small and medium-sized enterprises valued from less than 5 million baht to 25 million.

After confronting the resurgence of the pandemic, tourism operators said the aid measures aimed at cost reduction were the most important factor (92.6%), comprising the co-payment scheme to help subsidise tourism workers’ monthly salary and the lowering of electricity and water bills.

A debt holiday was requested by 81.2 percent of tourism operators, with the majority wanting the waiver to last for 19-24 months.

Yuthasak said 79.9 percent of operators also sought lower interest rates and the suspension of principal payments.

Some 58.1 percent indicated preferable interest rates should fall between 1-2.99%.

However, some operators already lost hope of obtaining soft loans as only 78.8 percent said they wanted to receive financial aid from the government. Of those who still want to secure soft loans, 70.9 percent asked for a “no guarantor” loan, while 31.6 percent requested a credit limit of between 1-5 million baht.

The majority of the respondents were from Phuket (20.7%), followed by Bangkok (12.5%), Chiang Mai (9.5%), Surat Thani (7.96%), Krabi (6.26%) and Chon Buri (4.35%).

The survey showed 65.3 percent of respondents were still operating their businesses, while 34.7 percent remained closed due to insufficient income.

Some 44.4 percent of respondents were hoteliers, followed by travel companies (23.8%), restaurants (10.4%), rental businesses (6.95%), souvenir shops (4.3%), spas (2.71%), theme parks (2.18%), entertainment venues (0.53%), airlines (0.16%) and others (4.62%).

“We have to prioritise operators’ needs and help them get through the current difficulties, even though the TAT is mainly responsible for marketing,” Yuthasak said.

The results are to be shared with the TAT’s committee boards on January 27 in an effort to find possible solutions to support tourism operators.

He said during the meeting with TCT, operators also suggested a labour bank in a bid to avoid more job losses in the tourism sector.


Category: Thailand

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