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Thailand Elite Card To Be Relaunched In June


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Thailand Elite Card to be relaunched in June


BANGKOK, 31 May 2013 (NNT) - The Tourism Authority of Thailand is planning a global relaunch of the Thailand Elite Card in June.

The TAT has instructed 18 TAT offices abroad and authorised sales representatives in 12 Asian countries to start seling the cards.

The Thailand Elite card project is revamped with a new marketing strategy aimed at attracting Chinese and Russian customers.

The agency expected to attract around 300 new members from China alone, out of the projected 650 members in total.

Under the new membership terms and conditions, cardholders will be able to sign up with an initial down payment fee of two million Baht followed by a 20,000 Baht annual fee over a 20-year validity period.

Cardholders will be eligible for a five-year Multiple Entry Visa to Thailand and a one-year stay privilege per visit.

They will also be entitled to use the Thailand Elite Personal Assistance service at Suvarnabhumi Airport and Phuket Airport.

-- NNT 2013-05-31


NB I found this on another board and though it would be of interest

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Here is what happened last time:


Elite Card decides to call it a day

BANGKOK: -- The cabinet yesterday decided to close down in 60 days the loss-ridden Thailand Privilege Card Co (TPC), operator of the Thailand Elite Card, the brainchild of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry, whose state agency the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is TPC's sole owner, was instructed to prepare to compensate the 2,500-odd members should any of them take legal action once their membership is revoked.

The ministry yesterday asked the government to set aside 2.5 billion baht to compensate members and staff once the company shuts down.

Deputy Prime Minister Sanan Kachornprasart said the cabinet turned down the request but asked the ministry to submit details for consideration next week at what is expected to be the final cabinet meeting of this government.

Elite Card, launched in 2003, promised fast-track immigration, discounts at resorts and golf courses and other perks.

With members paying 1 million baht for a lifetime membership - prices later rose to 1.5 million - the goal was to attract a million subscribers in five years for revenue of 1 trillion baht.

But political changes and exaggerated services led to the Elite Card proving a flop, with only 2,565 members from 65 countries in its eight years in operation. TPC reportedly suffers a debt burden of more than 1.4 billion baht.

Battling to survive, TPC two years ago sought cabinet approval to allow private investment in the company. But the request was rejected, as the government would not allow companies to make decisions on visa fees.

Pensuda Priaram, the TAT's deputy governor for tourism products and business, said the 60-day deadline for terminating the company and the card would be hard to meet under the rules.

The TAT must come up with 500 million baht to pay for overdue registered capital to pave the way for termination, and plans to seek the sum from the Budget Bureau.

Prakit Chinamourphong, president of the Thai hotels Association, said the project should have been shut down a long time ago.

Source: Bangkok Post 2011-04-27

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They'll be hoping that no potential new suckers customers find out what happened last time...:P

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