Thailand Ends Domestic Transport Subsidies in the Wake of Graft Investigations

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In order to investigate reports of irregularities in the government-funded scheme designed to aid the pandemic-hit tourism sector,  Thailand discontinued its domestic travel subsidy program before the peak holiday season.

For the Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, the authorities are reviewing allegations of collusion and fraud in the “We Fly Together” project which provides up to 40 percent subsidies for hotel room rentals and air fares.

In view of this, The online portal which alllow individuals to apply for the service, will return as early as next week or after the new year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the travel subsidy scheme has been effective in improving occupancy rates at local hotels affected by the global stop to travel.

On the other hand, Mr Yuthasak thought that it helped raise average occupancy rates to 34 percent in October, up from a single digit in April. Consequently, The proposal to sell travelers an extra one million rooms at discounted rates has been postponed. Under the scheme that began on July 18, local holidaymakers were previously given five million spaces.

Another thing, Ms Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi asked the government to reinstate the project and Thai hotels would have to give strong discounts without the subsidy program to attract holidaymakers, which could exacerbate their financial conditions. Under the project that began on July 18, local holidaymakers were previously given five million spaces.

For this reason, Thailand is banking on a rebound from a slowdown in its tourist sector, with the central bank predicting that it may take at least two years for the second-largest economy in South-East Asia to return to pre-pandemic growth levels. More than US$60 billion (S$80 billion in revenue from around 40 million tourists in 2019 was generated by international tourist arrivals.

Though Thailand has relaxed certain limitations on the entry of international tourists, the industry has failed to attract visitors because in the midst of a rise in reported infections worldwide, the authorities have maintained a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival.

Morever, Thailand’s situation of coronavirus controls have been eased in order to allow industries to completely reopen, Thailand has established a national state of emergency to prevent the disease from resurging.

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