The Tourism Authority of Thailand is selling ‘hotel bonds’ that increase in value over time, as a way of incentivising tourists (both domestic and foreign) to book a holiday during the pandemic. Jenny Southan reports

The Buy Now, Stay Later: Thailand scheme from the Tourism Authority Thailand – Los Angeles office (TAT-LA) offers potential visitors a way to plan and save money on future trips through the purchase of hotel bonds that increase in value over time.

The launch of the campaign follows Thailand’s announcement of the country’s multiphase reopening to foreign tourists, which will potentially begin on August 1, 2020.

Thailand’s reopening will tentatively begin in the geographically secluded provinces of Phuket, Krabi, and Surat Thani where health monitoring can be more easily controlled.

Many of the Buy Now, Stay Later hotels are located in the first provinces predicted to reopen. Through the website, travellers can access a list of partner properties and connect with them directly to purchase bonds in US$100 increments.Similar to savings bonds, hotel bonds purchased for US$100 today can be redeemed for a value of US$150 following a 60-plus day maturation period. Partner properties include the Banyan Tree Bangkok, the Sukhothai Bangkok, the Siam Hotel and the Anantara Hua Hin Resort.

The director of TAT-LA, Kittipong Prapattong, says: “With the launch of Buy Now, Stay Later: Thailand, TAT is broadening the systems of support we have in place for Thailand’s hotels. We hope that this revenue-generating initiative will help to ensure the survival of many of the country’s most beloved tourist destinations.

“Furthermore, we hope the campaign inspires and empowers foreign visitors to invest in the tourism industry in Thailand, a country that for many years, has had a warm and welcoming connection to the global travel community.”

Buy Now, Stay Later: Thailand is a part of the “Buy Now Stay Later” programme developed by Rachel Harrison of Lion & Lamb Communications. Created in April 2020 as an early response to the impact of Covid-19 on the hotel industry, “Buy, Now, Stay Later” has since expanded to include 500-plus partner properties in countries around the world. Many participating hotels have reported an uptick in bookings as a result of guests connected through the website.

The initiative echos other “buy now, stay later” voucher innovations from the likes of Ace Hotels, and Porter and Sail, which gives discounts of up to 50 per cent at the world’s best independent hotels. Buy a US$200 credit, for example, forSound View in Long Island, and guests can redeem it on a US$300 stay.

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