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Duty free project to boost tourism in Andaman Provinces


Phuket (Tourism Authority of Thailand) - Mr Pracha Maleenont, Minister of Tourism and Sports, has announced a plan to help revive the economies of the three provinces worst hit by December’s tsunami -- Phuket, Phang-nga and Krabi.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is the lead agency responsible for the four-month duty free shopping project. The Revenue Department, Excise Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand, and various private-sector organizations are assisting. The plan is to attract more tourists by offering duty-free shopping, including OTOP products. Duty-free shop operators will also be importing brand name merchandise to offer for sale.

There are currently seven participating duty-free retail outlets: Wang Thalang Jewelry and Gift Shop; Sawasdee Duty Free Plaza in downtown Phuket; and King Power branches at the arrival and departure areas of Phuket Airport, at Patong Resort Hotel in Phuket, at Khao Lak Merlin Resort in Phang-nga and at Ao Nang Villa Resort Hotel in Krabi; The pilot project runs for four months starting 1 September.

Duty free shopping in this project is only for tourists who are Thai citizens who arrive by private car or plane or buy a tour package. They must stay for at least one night at one of the hotels in the area.

The hotel must be one that pays taxes in accordance with local tax regulations. Thai tourists who meet these requirements can ask for a duty free shopping permit from the airport, their airline, tour company, or hotel. When applying for a permit, tourists must display proof of travel such as a boarding pass, plane ticket, ticket purchase receipt, package tour receipt, or hotel check-in validation.

Each Thai traveller is allowed to make one duty free shopping trip per month. Duty free shopping permits may also be collected for use in the succeeding month from September to December 2005. The ministry believes that this incentive will help increase hotel occupancy rates in the three provinces by 20 per cent and boost tourist spending.

For more information, please call the Revenue Department’s call centre at 1164 or the Tourism Authority of Thailand Call Centre at 1672.

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