Long staycations: Tourism authority proposes to subsidize lengthier hotel stays for Thai travelers

Tourists snorkel at Phang Nga province’s Mu Ko Surin National Park. Photo: Amazing Thailand / Facebook
Tourists snorkel at Phang Nga province’s Mu Ko Surin National Park. Photo: Amazing Thailand / Facebook

Tourism authorities are proposing an expansion of the domestic travel stimulus program, which would come as an added boost to the privilege Thai travelers already enjoy.

Under the proposal, the 40 percent accommodation fee subsidy for Thai nationals aged 20 and up will be extended from 10 to 15 nights per person, said Governor Yuthasak Supasorn of the Tourism Authority of Thailand yesterday. Furthermore, if the plan is approved by the COVID-19 task force on Wednesday, Thai nationals will get an instant 40 percent discount on flight bookings instead of having to apply for the subsidy afterward under the current policy.

Thailand’s THB22.4 billion (US$750 million) domestic travel stimulus program was launched in mid-July. It was supposed to end in October, but authorities extended the program until the end of January amid low demand.

Yuthasak said officials are hoping that adding more benefits and streamlining the subsidy process will persuade more domestic tourists to take advantage of the fund.

Currently, the government is subsidizing Thai travelers 40 percent of hotel fees, capped at THB3,000 per night, and flight bookings capped at THB2,000 per airline ticket. During the hotel stays, travelers will also receive daily e-vouchers of THB600 on Fridays to Sundays and THB900 on weekdays to be spent on food and tourist attraction entrance fees. Krung Thai’s PaoTang app is required for program eligibility.

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