Leading hoteliers call for establishment of tourism bank

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A group of leading Thai hoteliers last week met with Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij and a representative of the government’s specialised financial institutions to call for the government to establish a tourism bank tasked to serve the tourism sector only.

Hotels included in the meeting were the Pavilion Samui, Boutique Resort, Silver Sand Resort, Nara Resort, and Bandara Hotels & Resorts.

Small and Medium Enterprise Bank President Soros Sakornvisava said he did not yet know the details of the request, but said in practice, establishing a tourism bank is difficult to accomplish.

The group of hoteliers called for the establishment of such a bank, citing the government’s approval of setting up a Post Bank in December and the earlier chartering of the Islamic Bank of Thailand.

The hoteliers claimed the establishment of such a bank would not rely on loan support by the specialised financial institutions, he said.

Soros said the SME Bank had long given financial support to the tourism sector.  It had so far provided soft loans worth Bt5 billion to the sector and was ready to give additional loan support. (TNA)