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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    William's Avatar
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    BP: Elite Card due for another overhaul

    Elite Card due for another overhaul

    Membership cap, sustainability stressed

    CHATRUDEE THEPARAT
    After failing to meet membership targets, the troubled Thailand Elite Card programme has submitted a restructuring plan aimed at achieving profitability in the next few years. Thailand Privilege Card (TPC), the operator of the Elite Card programme, hopes to implement a number of reforms, including limiting membership to 20,000.

    New members would be restricted to a maximum of 30 years under the new policies that the company says would upgrade member services and increase TPC revenues.

    Significantly, the lifetime membership fee would be increased to three million baht from one million baht.

    TPC had wanted to cut membership fees to as low as 50,000 baht, but the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), its major shareholder, said that a low fee could harm the programme's image.

    The proposal has been forwarded to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

    The Elite Card programme originally aimed to attract as many as one million card holders by next year but it currently has fewer than 2,000 members from 49 countries.

    The original programme, a pet project of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, offered holders a wide range of perks, including preferential visas and fast-track immigration clearance, access to concierge and call-centre facilities and discounts at many tourist venues, including hotels, golf clubs and spas.

    The project sought to boost tourism revenue and increase average daily tourist spending from 4,000 baht to 20,000 baht.According to Tourism and Sports Minister Suvit Yodmani, the restructuring should make TPC profitable by 2010, and return 500 million baht to the TAT. The plan is set to be submitted to the economic screening committee soon.

    Dr Suvit said he agreed with the restructuring proposal as it would be more selective about customers while offering better services.

    ''The company should continue operating because most TPC members were investors who needed express immigration service,'' he said.

    Dr Suvit said many members had asked the ministry to continue the TPC. The largest number of members is from South Korea, which has 600 card holders.
    TAT governor Phornsiri Manoharn said the agency wanted to continue the operation because cancelling it would harm the country's image.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    Whiteshiva's Avatar
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    I'd love to know how much of the taxpayers money has already been spent on this project.....

    I basically think is Thai incompetence and ignorance at its worst. And I bet someone out there has made a ton of money on it.....

  3. #3
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William
    Significantly, the lifetime membership fee would be increased to three million baht from one million baht.
    Yep, that's more like it. Good idea.
    I am really interested in buying one now

  4. #4
    Dis-member
    Dougal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William
    Dr Suvit said he agreed with the restructuring proposal as it would be more selective about customers
    Let me get this straight - they currently have only 2,000 members and he thinks being MORE selective about customers is a good idea!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    I am in Jail
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    LOL !!! what a fucking circus

  6. #6
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    ''The company should continue operating because most TPC members were investors who needed express immigration service,'' he said.
    c'mon guys, you can renege on this, no sweat,

    goal_post_move_normal_practice

  7. #7
    Member DFCarlson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post

    ...limiting membership to 20,000.

    Significantly, the lifetime membership fee would be increased to three million baht from one million baht.

    ...a low fee could harm the programme's image.
    Better grab one before the fee goes up and before the membership limit is reached... certainly don't want to be part of a low fee program with a bad image...

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