Thailand’s CESA approves economic stimulus measures including “Flex Plus” and special tour packages for STV tourists to lure back foreign tourists

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The Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) has approved economic stimulus measures called the “Elite Flexible Program” or “Flex Plus” and special tour packages for STV tourists to attract foreign tourists and long-term investors to visit and invest in Thailand.

The “Flex Plus” measure was proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for foreigners who are holding an Elite Card valid for at least 5 years. Applicants will be offered a work permit and visas if they agreed to invest in properties or companies in the country for 5 years or more.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said that the ‘Flex Plus’ targets members of the Thailand Elite Card, valued at 1 million baht, with high purchasing power.

It is believed to potentially generate a domestic economic return for up to 3.1 billion baht, 30 billion baht from investments and 1 billion baht from 1,000 new cardholders’ application fees.

Foreign cardholders must make long-term investments in 3 types of assets with a value of at least 1 million USD within one year. The assets investments include real estate, limited companies or public limited companies and stock exchange through the holding of ordinary shares, debentures or investment units.

Interested applicants must agree to 5-year investments before submitting a program application and a work permit application to the Ministry of Finance. Then, the Ministry of Finance along with TAT, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor, and related agencies will consider the suitability of each applicant.

The CESA has also approved several tourism packages proposed by TAT, in partnership with tour operators and Thai Airways, to stimulate tourism in the country for foreign tourists from low risk countries under the Special Tourist Visa (STV).

The three packages offer a selection of state quarantine accommodations, transportations, and trips in Bangkok and other provincial destinations to STV visa holders. It is planned to be implemented from December 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021.

Similar to other STV health requirements, only foreign tourists who pass the 14-day state quarantine and other health measures are welcomed to apply for the packages and visit the country.

Although all expenses are under the responsibility of the tourists, Yuthasak stated that TAT plans to use 20 million baht of its own budget to subsidize state quarantine accommodation and transport expenses to provincial areas for foreign visitors.

It is expected by the TAT that approximately 2,000 tourists, spending 93,000 to 100,000 baht per person, will be arriving in the first month of the implementation and it will prove that Thailand is ready to reopen the country and welcome all tourists.

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