The Thai Hotels Association Eastern Chapter doubled down on promises for members to begin organizing their own tourism-promotion events if the government does not offer significant financial aid.
The group, along with seven other tourism and hospitality industry associations, wrote in a letter to Chonburi’s governor last week that they would act like “stubborn children” to survive the second coronavirus shutdown by creating tourism-stimulation events in defiance of government dictates if their list of economic demands are not met.
Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome, the same day, criticized the groups for going over his head with the letter and not negotiating with him first.
The groups have called on the government to order hotels in Chonburi to close, which would allow employees to collect state unemployment benefits.
In addition, they want expansion of the Social Security Fund to pay unemployment benefits for 200 days; a cut in Social Security employer contributions to 1 percent, discounted utility bills until the end of the year, exemptions or reductions in tariffs as well as land, sign and maintenance taxes; and a six-month debt-repayment moratorium.
THA-EC President Phisut Sae-khu acknowledged that tourism events could exacerbate the current coronavirus epidemic, but called it “unavoidable.”
It’s unclear how hotels would organize such events, however, as they not only are banned by government order – enforceable with jail time and heavy fines – but tourists currently are banned from entering Chonburi unless on “essential” travel.