Tourism Staff Support Scheme

BANGKOK: The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) aims to establish the Tourism Labor Bank assistance program by March for tourism workers suffering from the impact of the pandemic, as the new outbreak may lead to the loss of up to 2 million workers in the industry. their jobs.

Khao San Road, usually filled with partying tourists, is virtually devoid of commercial activity. Photo: Apichart Jinakul/Bangkok Post

“The council will develop a tourism employment database which will not only shed light on the number of tourism workers in order to estimate the impact of the future crisis and propose effective measures, but will also seek ways avoid further job losses in tourism. segment,” TCT Chairman Chamnan Srisawat said.

Unemployed tourism workers who are enrolled in the program can undergo training to upskill and retrain in useful subjects such as online marketing and languages, with daily expenses covered, he said. .

They may also be hired temporarily for jobs at tourism businesses that need more staff so they don’t have to change jobs, he said.

The government can safeguard tourism jobs by implementing the co-pay system for a monthly salary of up to 15,000 baht, with the government subsidizing half, he said. The Labor Bank can provide this assistance.

The tourism confidence index for the fourth quarter of 2020, which surveyed 1,020 local tourism operators from November 11 to December 29, is 62, down from 60 in the third quarter, but down significantly from 88 during the same period of 2019.

A reading of 100 indicates that overall tourism sentiment is stable, while a reading below 100 indicates declining confidence.

According to the survey, 1.04 million tourism workers lost their jobs last year, with 3% of tourism businesses closing permanently and 10% temporarily.

While 85% of companies continued to operate, half of them reduced their workforce by 30 to 40%.

With the new surge, this quarter’s index is expected to drop to 53. Operators in destinations that rely heavily on tourism like Bangkok and the Southern Region showed the weakest confidence at just 37 and 39, respectively.

Mr. Chamnan said that in the first half of the year, the government must constantly introduce more inclusive tourism stimulus measures in addition to subsidies for hotels and airlines.

Meetings and seminars organized by state agencies can help boost domestic travel in the second half of the year, he noted.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association, said 80% of hoteliers in major destinations, such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phang Nga and Bangkok, have temporarily closed.

In addition to the co-payment system, financial relief in the form of a two-year debt payment holiday, reduced electricity bills, and soft loans (such as a $60 million loan baht per hotel with an interest rate of 2%) could play a crucial role in supporting tourism. operators, she said.

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