THE Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta) warned that if the minimum wage is increased to 450 baht a day and further gradually increased every year it will definitely affect the economy with the tourism industry too impacted, Matichon newspaper said today (May 31).
Mr. Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, Atta’s president, said a minimum wage hike would increase business operators’ cost leading to their prices being adjusted. As prices of consumer goods rise the service sector too would be affected in terms of consumption.
“If wages are not increased and prices of goods and services dip lower than the current level through cheaper costing according to raw material and energy pricing mechanism I believe everyone can survive.
“But if wages rise, higher salaries mean entrepreneurs or traders have to adjust their prices accordingly,” he said.
The most worrying issue is investment because foreign investors can choose and upon seeing that the labour cost in Thailand is higher than other countries, such as Vietnam or Indonesia, they would see no reason to invest here, he warned.
While the total number of foreign tourists coming to Thailand from the beginning of the year to May 29 reached 10,448,481, Sisdivachr pointed out it took five months for this total to climb higher than 10 million with the growth not being as fast as had been expected.
However, it is hoped that more foreign tourists will flock to Thailand the rest of this year so that the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s goal of welcoming 25 million overseas holidaymakers this year is reached.
Top: Airplanes flying high. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Traditional Thai dance. Photo: Docnic (CC BY 2.0)