Call to expand touring grant scheme

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Local tourists examine Naga Cave located near Phu Langka National Park in Bueng Kan.

Tour operators are urging the government to increase the quota for locals joining Tour Teaw Thai, an organized tour subsidy, to further stimulate demand from frequent users.

Raising package quotas or allowing tourists to book many packages until their 5,000 baht subsidy runs out should help trigger the lukewarm program, said Chamnan Srisawat, chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT). .

He said tourists who prefer group tours are limited, but tend to repeatedly purchase such services.

A higher quota will allow them to drain remaining privileges before the program ends in April, Chamnan said.

Remaining tour packages from Tour Teaw Thai, which subsidizes 40% of holiday prices, have been reduced to 200,000 from 1 million packages for 1 million tourists previously due to lukewarm feedback.

Only 29,506 organized trips have been sold, as of February 3.

Some tour operators have suggested increasing the quota for travel agencies which is currently capped at 1,000 packages.

He said if the tour package subsidy ends with unimpressive results, TCT would like the government to consider subsidizing 5,000 tourist buses per month in five regions instead.

“The council should be involved to design measures that fully benefit operators,” Mr Chamnan said.

Thanapol Cheewarattanaporn, president of the Association of Domestic Travel (ADT), said tourists should be granted at least three Tour Teaw Thai tour packages.

He said the cap on package sales for a travel agency should be raised to 3,000 as some operators have already reached the limit.

“Even if complicated rules cannot be changed to prevent fraud, the government should relax other rules to increase travel in a short period of time,” Mr Thanapol said.

He said tour packages that can attract tourists include destinations in the north and northeast, especially Naga Cave in Bueng Kan and Wat Kham Cha Not in Udon Thani, which locals visit to pray for good luck. or a lottery win.

New air routes are helping to boost domestic tourism, Mr Thanapol said, such as Bangkok to Roi Et of Thai Smile Airways and Bangkok to Betong to Yala of Nok Air.

ADT encourages its members to promote Betong during the Songkran festival in April.

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