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Until Thailand reopens to world, gov’t will pay people to travel


Thailand could reopen to the world as soon as next month, and government officials are eyeing a tourism stimulus package to give the sector a shot in the arm.

Flights into the country will resume in July at the earliest, embattled Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said yesterday after a Finance Ministry meeting. Somkid, who is also finance minister, said a process would selectively determine which locales have their COVID-19 outbreaks “quite under control.”

“We don’t think it’s necessary to open for tourists based on the country. We can choose based on their city or district,” Somkid said. “We have to develop our digital tracking system and gradually open our country, so tourists are expected to come back by the third or fourth quarter.”

Nearly 40 million arrivals brought THB3.01 trillion into the economy last year. Until they can return, the finance and tourism ministries said today they will encourage domestic travel by giving away money and vouchers for Thai tourists as soon as July.

The policy may include giving away THB3,000 to those 18 and up, 10% to 20% cash back for those spending over THB3,000, and some kind of voucher program. None of the details were final yet, according to Lavaron Sangsnit of the Fiscal Policy Office.

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