Bangkok (VNA) - The Thai cabinet on June 30 approved two stimulus packages worth 22.4 billion THB to revitalise domestic tourism which has been left reeling from the COVID-19 lockdown.

The packages, proposed by the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports, will run from July 1 to October 30.

The “Happiness-sharing trips” package worth 2 billion THB is to subsidise domestic flight fares, inter-provincial bus fares and car rental fees for a total of 2 million people.

The Thai government will subsidise 2 million air tickets, with the subsidy limited to 2,000 THB per person. Eligible people must pay for their tickets first and the government will pay them back 40 percent of ticket prices. For round-trip tickets, the subsidy is limited to no more than 1,000 THB per seat.

The “Let’s travel” package worth 18 billion THB will fund subsidies for accommodation, food and other services provided at tourist destinations.

The government will subsidise five million nights of hotel accommodation at 40 percent of normal room rates, with the subsidy limited to 3,000 THB per night for up to five nights. Tourists will be responsible for the other 60 percent.

Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha also floated an idea to promote domestic tourism on weekdays to ease overcrowding on Saturdays and Sundays. Employees who take days off for holiday travel on weekdays under the campaign would have to work other days instead, he said.

In the first five months of this year, the total number of domestic flights in Thailand dropped 58.2 percent, reaching 40.2 million trips, with revenues falling 57.9 percent to 191 billion THB. Data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) showed that international arrivals to the country plunged 60 percent in the period to 6.69 million and revenues from them decreased 59.6 percent to 332 billion THB.

In 2019, Thailand hosted nearly 40 million foreign tourists./.