Uttama dangles financial boost for tourism

Former Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana

The newly formed Sang Anakhot Thai (Building Thailand’s Future) party on Monday unveiled its Restart Thai Tourism platform with a plan to create a 20 billion baht fund to help the tourism industry get back on its feet. after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Party co-founder Uttama Savanayana discussed the idea on his Facebook page following a meeting on Thursday between party officials and the Tourism Board of Thailand to discuss how to revitalize the tourism sector. tourism battered by Covid.

In 2019, before Covid-19, Thailand earned three trillion baht from tourism with nearly 40 million international tourists visiting the country. The number of foreign visitors fell to 7 million in 2020 and to 400,000 in 2021.

Mr Uttama, a former finance minister, said the pandemic would have left some seven million people, both operators and workers, in the tourism industry in financial difficulty with between 70% and 80% of employees who would have been unemployed and several small and medium-sized operators forced into bankruptcy due to their debts.

He said that during the meeting, the Sang Anakhot Thai party seized on the slogan “Restart Thai Tourism” as it saw the pandemic as an opportunity to assess, rebuild and uplift the tourism industry.

With rich natural resources, Thailand is well placed to use tourism as an engine of growth, Mr. Uttama said, and the party’s strategy would aim to upgrade facilities, acquire new technologies and conquer new markets in order to develop and build capacity during reconstruction. process process.

Mr Uttama said the creation of a 20 billion baht fund was the appropriate mechanism to implement the strategy and would be part of a previously discussed plan to create a 200 billion baht fund to develop SMEs in the country.

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