Thailand approves 720-million-USD domestic tourism stimulus package hinh anh 1Tourists at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai cabinet on June 16 approved a domestic tourism package worth 22.4 billion THB (720 million USD) to revitalise a key sector hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said the stimulus, proposed by the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the Finance Ministry, will run from July to October.

The first 18 billion THB of the package will fund subsidies for accommodation, food and other services provided at tourist destinations.

A further 2.4 billion THB will fund holiday travel for 1.2 million health volunteers and officials of sub-district hospitals, who will use the services of tour firms.

The remaining 2 billion THB is to subsidise domestic flight fares for a total of 2 million trips.

Tourism, which accounts for around 20 percent of Thailand’s GDP, is among the first sectors affected by COVID-19.

Thailand saw a sharp decline of 58.2 percent in domestic trips in the first five months of 2020, resulting in revenue losses of 57.9 percent.

Data of the Tourism Authority of Thailand showed that foreign tourist arrivals contracted by 60 percent in January-May to 6.69 million people. Spending from foreign tourists plunged 59.6 percent to 332 billion THB.

Thailand welcomed nearly 40 million foreign holidaymakers last year./.