Thailand’s elite card refuses to die


BANGKOK, Nov 13 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has mapped out an ambitious plan to recruit 10,000 new members for the ‘elite card’—a scheme which had ‘gone silent’, but is now to be resurrected following cabinet approval yesterday.

The cabinet action allows a maximum expense of Bt100 million from the remaining registered capital of Thailand Privilege Card (TPC) Co for the revived operation which includes recruitment of a manager, personnel and management.

It should take three months to fully launch the project after which the company should have sufficient cash flow from the sales of membership, according to deputy government spokesman Pakdiharn Himathongkam.

As the sole owner of TPC, the national tourism agency projects 10,000 new members in the next 10 years, with each paying a one-time membership fee of Bt 2 million plus an annual fee of Bt 20,000. A membership is valid for 20 years.

The status-bearing TPC currently has 2,562 members.

TAT plans to recruit 1,300 members in the first year of the revived programme  (2013), 1,200 members in the second year, 1,100 members in the third year, 1,000 members in the fourth to seventh years, 900 members in the eighth year, 800 members in the ninth year and 700 members in the tenth or final year.

It hopes to earn Bt2.016 billion after the first year but the loss remains at Bt 117 million due to the accumulated deficit of Bt1.284 billion.

TPC should make a Bt 242 million profit in 2014 and pay off the accumulated deficit by 2017. In 2042 when the elite card turns 20 years, TPC should have Bt 2.280 billion in cash or a profit of Bt 1.095 billion.