Thailand’s economy runs almost on revenue generated by tourism sector. But due to Covid-19 pandemic, the industry has been hit hard and Thailand’s government had to be a bit creative to encourage people to go on holidays so the tourism can be revived again.
And for this, the government launched a scheme in which people can get fund for holidays.
After dark, thousands of tourists typically fill the shabby clubs and amusement yards of Pattaya, Thailand’s infamous red-light district.
But since COVID-19 there is hardly a person in sight. That’s sounds bad.
Also, in Pattaya, beaches, resorts and theme parks are empty, due to COVID-19.
When the situation was normal, about 40 million foreign tourists were expected to visit Thailand this year.
The dire situation has forced the Thai government to get creative on how to revive the country’s ailing tourism industry.
Around 800,000 people in Thailand have joined a program where the government pays them for domestic vacations.
As part of the program, Thai vacationers are being asked to book their vacation through a specific Bank Wallet app on their mobile phone in order to receive free accommodations and airfares that are 40 percent off, reports ABC.
They also get a flat daily spending allowance – around $ 25 on weekend days and $ 38 per week – to spend as they please.
The Thai government has allocated 10.8 million baht, or $ 473,000, for the program and it has been welcomed by tourists and tour operators.
Restaurant owner Pornthip Aeng-chaun said her restaurant in the coastal town of Krabi in southern Thailand has already filled up.
“The campaign is very good for getting more customers into the restaurant,” she said.
“I think 50 percent more customers come here. I want the campaign to continue. If it does not continue, we cannot survive.”
Thailand expects an annual intake of around 8 million foreign tourists this year – about 20 percent of the usual number – due to COVID-19 travel bans, lockdowns and self-financed quarantine for all international arrivals in the country.
According to the World Bank, tourism accounts for around 15 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.