Thailand gives urgent support to tourism operators hinh anh 1The Erawan shrine is one of the most popular attractions in Bangkok for Chinese tourists. (Photo:

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s economic ministers on January 31 endorsed urgent aid measures for tourism operators battered by the coronavirus outbreak.

According to local media, the measures include a soft-loan scheme and principal and interest payment suspension for six months by state-owned banks, including Krungthai Bank, Government Savings Bank and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

The Finance Ministry will also reduce jet fuel excise tax and suspend income tax payment for six months for tourism operators, while the Transport Ministry will reduce landing fees.

The measures will be filed with the cabinet for final approval on February 4.

Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister for political affairs, said the government is considering additional measures to stimulate domestic travel, and all details will be concluded at the cabinet’s meeting next week.

According to Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the coronavirus outbreak will result in a decline in Chinese visitors from January to April by as much as 80 percent, with an estimated loss of 98 billion THB (3.14 billion USD) in revenue.

Still, the agency is maintaining a target for 41.8 million foreign visitors this year, with 2.22 trillion THB in revenues.

The agency said marketing efforts will shift to other markets in lieu of China, including ASEAN, the Republic of Korea, Japan, China’s Taiwan, India, Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the United States and Mexico./.