Bank, agencies help protest-affected SMEs


Thailand’s leading commercial bank, Kasikorn Bank (KBank), is working with related agencies mapping out measures to assist tourism businesses negatively impacted by the current political protests.

The bank’s business alliances are with the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP).

Mainly small- and medium-sized enterprises such as hotels, restaurants, tour agents, spa, car and boat rental agencies as well as souvenir shops will be assisted.

KBank will provide flexible loans with 6-month interest payments. New investments will be given the maximum of 12 years for loan installments.

According to Piyaman Techapaiboon, TCT president, the number of foreign tourists entering Thailand this year was previously expected at 29.9 million, generating Bt1.35 trillion in revenue.

However, it is predicted that the first half of this year would see a drop of 1.8 million travelers, resulting in a lower forecast revenue of Bt82 billion.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 48 countries are still listing travel warnings to Thailand, advising their nationals to be careful in their journeys to Thailand and to consider the necessity of their trips.

Many countries and territories continue to update their travel warnings. The latest updates were made at the beginning of February by the UK, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea and New Zealand, suggesting avoiding trips to Bangkok’s protest areas despite the Feb 2 general election having passed.

Hong Kong continues a ‘severe threat’ warning level where all travel to Bangkok must be avoided.