New wave ruins Elite cardholder plans
No quarantine, limiting virus key to rebirth
Foreign tourists pose for a photo at Wat Pho in Bangkok, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha or Wat Phra Chetuphon amid Covid-19. Apichart jinakul
Thailand Privilege Card Co (TPC) is banking on Phuket’s tourist sandbox model to attract newcomer Thailand Elite Card members after the resurgence of the virus indefinitely delayed their travel plans to Thailand.
“No quarantine – like the Phuket sandbox concept – and containing the virus are key factors in helping existing members finalize their decision to travel to Thailand,” said Somchai Soongswang, chairman of TPC, the operator. Thailand Elite Card service.
As of April 15, 1,100 tourists had visited Thailand as part of the quarantine program for Thailand’s elite members approved by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in August 2020.
Meanwhile, 1,500 members who have expressed a desire to visit Thailand are still waiting for documents to be processed, flights available, or wanting to be vaccinated in their home country before traveling.
Some members had already received Certificates of Entry (COE) but they postponed their plans due to the latest wave.
After Songkran, only 69 members requested to visit Thailand, compared to more than 100 per week, as everyone wants to wait for the situation to improve.
As part of Elite Flexible One, which aims to boost real estate sales by offering a membership of 500,000 baht for a five-year multiple entry visa to those who buy 10 million baht properties in Thailand, Mr. Somchai has said a real estate developer had already received a potential offer but negotiation was halted by the new outbreak as the buyer delayed their decision.
In the first half of fiscal 2021 (October 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021), TPC approved 2,552 new members, a growth of 93% compared to 1,322 compared to the same period last year.
Of the new members, 26% are in the 40-49 age group and 24% in the 30-39 age group, which for the first time has passed the retirement age group (23.7%) .
He said the younger members are mostly digital nomads or those working as programmers or software engineers, especially from Japan, the United States and Europe.
TPC will work with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to offer products that meet the specific demands of this group, including a shorter visa period of less than five years and co-working spaces with useful facilities.
He said the company will meet its goal of getting 2,600 new members by April, which will help them end the accumulated losses of 240 million baht in this fiscal year.
The number of Elite cardholders reached 13,564 as of March 30.