Bleak odds for travel tax break

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL - SUCHAT SRITAMA

A much-an­tic­i­pated travel tax break is un­likely this year, as the gov­ern­ment needs to al­lo­cate a huge bud­get to help re­build re­cently flooded ar­eas.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Tanasak Pa­timapragor­n said yes­ter­day that the tax break for do­mes­tic travel ex­penses will pos­si­bly be put off to next year.

“Tourism and Sports Min­is­ter Kobkarn Wat­tanavrangk­ul has just talked with the Fi­nance Min­istry, and the prospects look thin,” Gen Tanasak said. “If the travel tax break can’t be im­ple­mented this year, it should be in­tro­duced next year.”

On Aug 18, Somchai Su­j­japongse, the fi­nance per­ma­nent sec­re­tary, said the Fi­nance Min­istry had agreed in prin­ci­ple on a tax break for do­mes­tic travel ex­penses but had asked the Tourism Author­ity of Thai­land (TAT) to ad­just the de­tails to let smaller com­mu­ni­ties ben­e­fit.

If the tax de­duc­tion were pro­vided on a blan­ket ba­sis, only main tourist des­ti­na­tions such as Chi­ang Mai and Phuket prov­inces would ben­e­fit, Mr Somchai said, adding that the Fi­nance Min­istry wanted lo­cal peo­ple and busi­ness op­er­a­tors in com­mu­ni­ties to re­ceive a share of tourism in­come.

Ac­cord­ing to the TAT’s ini­tial pro­posal, tourists who spent dur­ing the fi­nal quar­ter of this year would be al­lowed to claim a per­sonal in­come tax de­duc­tion of 10,000-50,000 baht, de­pend­ing on the area vis­ited.

The Fi­nance Min­istry al­lowed in­di­vid­ual tax­pay­ers to claim up to 15,000 baht in ex­penses paid for do­mes­tic ac­com­mo­da­tion and tourist agen­cies dur­ing Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber last year and an­other 15,000 for trav­el­ling ex­penses in­curred through­out the re­main­ing months of 2016 from their in­come tax.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, the TAT yes­ter­day of­fi­cially launched a new na­tional tourism cam­paign called Amaz­ing Thai­land Tourism Year 2018 to re­in­force the tourism in­dus­try in the com­ing year, with a fo­cus on the unique­ness and cul­tural val­ues of Thai­land.

The cam­paign aims to bring in more qual­ity tourists and main­tain the coun­try’s tra­di­tional tourism mar­kets. It is also in­tended to cre­ate higher eco­nomic value and dis­trib­ute tourism in­come to re­gional ar­eas of the coun­try.

Apart from the do­mes­tic mar­ket, the new tourism cam­paign also tar­gets in­ter­na­tional mar­kets such as China, In­dia, Asean, East Asia and Europe. Ac­tiv­i­ties to mark Amaz­ing Thai­land Tourism Year 2018 will be­gin in Novem­ber and con­tinue un­til the end of next year.

The TAT re­cently held the an­nual TAT Ac­tion Plan for 2018 meet­ing, cov­er­ing both in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic tourism. The TAT’s mar­ket­ing plan for 2018 is de­signed to serve the pur­pose of gen­er­at­ing rev­enue and in­creas­ing vis­i­tor ar­rivals.

It will also fol­low the de­vel­op­ment agenda of Thai­land 4.0, based on the suf­fi­ciency econ­omy phi­los­o­phy, as well as in­clu­sive tourism that main­tains a bal­ance be­tween the econ­omy, so­ci­ety and the en­vi­ron­ment. All these strate­gies are in line with the 12th Na­tional Eco­nomic and So­cial De­vel­op­ment Plan and the Sec­ond Na­tional Tourism De­vel­op­ment Plan.

Ma­jor ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude sport, gas­tron­omy, marine, med­i­cal, and wed­ding and hon­ey­moon tourism. Em­pha­sis will also be placed on Asean Con­nect. As a found­ing mem­ber of Asean, Thai­land has long adopted a pol­icy to pro­mote tourism in the re­gion, with a spe­cial fo­cus on en­cour­ag­ing the re­gion as a sin­gle des­ti­na­tion for world trav­ellers.

Phuri­wat Lim­tavon­rus, pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Do­mes­tic Travel, said the as­so­ci­a­tion’s 200 mem­bers are sched­uled to of­fer as much as 50% dis­counts for tour pack­ages to tourists who wear tra­di­tional Thai cos­tume while trav­el­ling or on va­ca­tion.

Op­er­a­tors will be­gin sell­ing spe­cial of­fers to tourists in Novem­ber this year if they want to visit at­trac­tions in three prov­inces: Sing Buri, Lop Buri and Kan­chanaburi.

Su­pawan Tanomkieat­ipume, pres­i­dent of the Thai Ho­tels As­so­ci­a­tion, said ho­tel op­er­a­tors will of­fer spe­cial room rates, food, drinks and spa ser­vices to tourists dur­ing April and June and dur­ing July to Oc­to­ber next year.

Per­form­ers open Amaz­ing Thai­land Tourism Year 2018. Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Tanasak Pa­timapragor­n has cast doubt on a tax break for travel.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Thailand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.