Thai travel agents concerned over foreign ownership

Travellers to Thailand
Koh Phangan, Thailand

The Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) fear new rules allowing foreign companies to hold majority shares in private ASEAN companies will be detrimental to Thai workers and the greater community.

The association is pushing for limitations on foreign ownership, urging the government to protect jobs and the country’s business interests, PressTV reported.

TTAA want authorities to prohibit ASEAN and foreign nationals from investing or establishing offices in key tourism destinations that are already well covered such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Samui, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.

Tourism represents approximately seven percent of Thailand’s GDP and the new ASEAN guidelines may put pressure on the South East Asian nation’s travel industry according to Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

“Tourism sector faces tough challenges,” he said.

“Some say entrepreneurs will import foreign skilled workers, while Thai staff will need to compete to stay employed.

“However, those changes could also lead to an improvement in skills in the long term.”

The Prime Minister’s government expects to generate $45 billion in tourism revenue over the next five years.

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
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