Pattaya tourism executives called on the government to grant them massive tax breaks and economic relief to prevent hotels, tourist attractions and related businesses from going bankrupt.
Thanet Supornsahatrangsi of the Chonburi Tourism Industry Council, Pisut Ku, president of the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region, and Pattaya Business & Tourism Association President Ekasit Ngampichet presented their recommendations to Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya March 30, asking that he forward them to the province and central governments.
The executives said the tourism industry has been in distress since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in China in January. Now that it has spread worldwide and Thailand has shut businesses and closed its borders, virtually all of the country’s 4.3 million tourism industry workers are unemployed.
Their employers are on life support and require government assistance to ensure they’re still around when the pandemic is over, they said.
The associations are calling on the Social Security Office to pay 70 percent of tourism industry employees’ salaries for 6 months and exempt employers and workers from paying SSO contributions during that time.
The businesses also want to be exempted from land and sign taxes for 2020, free water and electricity until the pandemic ends, and cash handouts to purchase disinfectant products and equipment.
Lastly, the groups are asking for interest on bank loans to be reduced by 50 percent with the government picking up the other half.
The associations said the concessions are necessary as the tourism industry is not an island unto itself. In addition to businesses and workers directly employed, the industry also fuels other sectors such as transportation and agriculture.