Thailand proposes to set up financial institution for tourism hinh anh 1The CentralWorld mega-shopping complex, a major tourist attraction in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports said it will propose the establishment of a Tourism Fund at the next meeting of the National Tourism Policy Committee.

After listening to operators, Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn realised that an emergency fund is needed for SMEs during these tough times, since the conditions and long process of getting funds from the government always take a toll on operators, local media reported on March 9.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) supports the concept of setting aside an independent financial source for the tourism sector.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the country has the Tourism Promotion Fund, but the complicated rules have prevented businesses from accessing this fund, and it's almost impossible to use this fund for emergency cases.

According to Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, President of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), apart from the short-term financial measures approved by the cabinet on March 6, tourism operators still have concerns about inferior loan accessibility when compared with other sectors.

The TCT is pushing for the establishment of a tourism fund or tourism development bank as a long-term solution to ease financial difficulties immediately when uncontrollable consequences arise.

Yuthasak said the option of setting up a tourism development bank may be hard in the beginning, but for the future growth it's more sustainable for the private sector and the overall economy because tourism contributes about 20 percent of GDP.

According to the TAT, the number of foreign visitors to Thailand in February decreased 44.3 percent from the same period last year due to the COVD-19 outbreak.

The agency forecast the number of foreign arrivals in 2020 to 33 million, down 3 million compared to 39.8 million tourists in 2019./.