Get more stuff to travel as desperate Thailand dangles new benefits

This street isn’t going to fill itself. Get out there and spend! Photo: ePi.Longo / Flickr
This street isn’t going to fill itself. Get out there and spend! Photo: ePi.Longo / Flickr

Travelers can get more money to fly and spend at more places under the latest boost of a domestic travel subsidy.

A raft of changes and new benefits were approved Wednesday to further sweeten the pot and get people traveling under a program that has so far failed to draw a lot of interest. 

Now, the rebate for airline tickets is THB3,000 instead of THB2,000 for travel to selected destinations, and daily vouchers are up to THB900 from THB600 and can be used for more than just food and entrance fees. Want to hit the spa, get a massage or rent a car or charter a boat? Their use varies from vendor to vendor – some accept it in full; others only cover a portion of the cost.

The program, approved earlier this year for Thais 20 and up, was given a budget of THB22.4 billion (US$740 million), of which only a fraction has been distributed. It was also extended another three months to end April 30.

In another change, travelers can now get 15 nights of hotel stays subsidized at the 40% rate, still capped at THB3,000 per night, tourism authority governor Yuthasak Supasorn said Wednesday.

The increased air travel subsidy of THB3,000 is only available to those traveling to provinces most economically harmed by the pandemic: They include Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

For those noble public servants, the program now allows them to get two extra days of travel leave if they make use of the campaign, according to the governor.

To enjoy the privilege, travelers must register and use Krung Thai Bank’s Paothang app (iOS and Android). No Krung Thai account is needed. More application information can be found at the campaign’s website.

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