New membership benefits for holders of the Thai Elite Card are expected to attract at least 20 billion baht in additional foreign investment.
There has been a deceleration in the property sector, affected by both lower income and a lack of international buyers, leading management at Thailand Elite Card to consider methods to boost both investment and the long-stay tourism market during the outbreak, said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Thailand Privilege Card (TPC), owned by TAT, manages Thailand Elite Card and plans to offer two stimulus plans through membership benefits to lure more investors.
The first package, called “Flex One”, aims to work with property development firms that target international buyers.
TPC will encourage those companies to add Thailand Elite Card membership to buyers who purchase properties worth 10 million baht minimum.
The visa privileges equipped with membership will facilitate buyers willing to invest in the property sector but who are not sure how to get into the country amid travel restrictions.
The second plan, “Flex Plus”, will grant work permits to Elite Card holders who invest in Thailand for US$1 million within one year after approval.
Those who want to join the programme can be both current holders who still have valid period longer than five years, or new members applying for over 1-million-baht membership package.
Mr Yuthasak said at present Thailand Elite Card can only offer the Elite Privilege Entry Visa for long-term multiple entry.
But if the Centre for Economic Situation Administration agrees in principle, TPC will forward the request to the Labour Ministry, asking them to grant work permits to this group without applying for non-immigrant B visas.
In addition to property, Thailand Elite Card holders can look for more investment opportunities such as government bonds, savings or in the stock market.
But work permits will be revoked automatically if members discontinue investment in Thailand.
He said the two measures are expected to be effective by next year.
If TPC can sell at least 1,000 cards under the Elite Flexible Programme, compared to 2,000 sales per year prior to the pandemic, 20 billion baht will be injected into the national economy, said Mr Yuthasak.
“There is demand from potential investors in low-risk countries who want to have long-stay haven in Thailand,” he said. “We have to find the right solution that can redirect those contributions to Thailand.”
In addition, the TAT plans to work closely with the Creative Economy Agency and the Office of Knowledge Management and Development to prepare the upcoming New Year’s gift to people in Bangkok with events which run from November.