A duty-free shop in Thailand (Photo: kingpower.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai Retailers Association (TRA) has proposed the Government of Thailand to let private operators run VAT refund booths at downtown duty- and tax-free shopping areas to boost sales.

According to the TRA, if the plan is endorsed, private retailers will partner with Global Blue, a well-known tax refund company, to offer services to tourists in Thailand.

In the upcoming auction for airport duty-free concessions, the TRA recommended that the government lower the concession period to five or seven years from the current 10 years, and raise the concession fees to the government to the international standard of 30-40 percent, compared to the 15-19 percent now collected from duty-free operators.

Reducing the lifetime of the concession would help prevent the long-term monopoly of a single operator and stimulate innovation in terms of product quality and customer experience.

Visitors to Thailand spend an average of 4,000 baht (about 123 USD) a day per person, mostly for hotel and food, but with the portion for shopping at just 1,200-1,500 baht (37-46 USD), according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. –VNA