The Cabinet on Tuesday approved several tax measures to promote tourism in the country in favour of domestic travellers and entrepreneurs, said Deputy Finance Minister Pradit Pattaraprasit. Mr Pradit said at least five measures were given the green light by the Cabinet for the travel industry.

To promote tourism among Thais, those buying tour programmes to travel domestically can use their receipts as tax deductions when filing their personal income tax return for not more than Bt15,000 (US$460), the measure takes effect from Wednesday until the end of 2010.

To promote trade fairs, companies joining travel exhibitions both in Thailand and abroad can have their expenses as double tax deductions from their taxable incomes.

Private firms holding training courses and seminars for their employees can apply all expenses including fees for seminar rooms, guestrooms, transportation, food and related items for double tax deduction for such paid amounts. The measure covers two accounting periods, starting from January 1 this year until the end of 2011.

via Cabinet approves tax measures to revive tourism.

As the leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (the “red shirts”) in central Bangkok ended their 79-day protest and surrendered themselves to authorities on May 19, Thailand literally went up in flames. For the rest of that day, roving bands of angry red-shirt protesters torched dozens of buildings in Bangkok. The governor of Bangkok proclaimed that May 19 would forever be remembered by its inhabitants.

Yet while much of the international focus has been on the situation in Bangkok—where indeed the protests have been largest and the violence most severe. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is back in public view and busy pushing his ideas for national “reconciliation,” a catchword that he mentioned nine times in opening remarks to foreign diplomats in a speech Saturday. The premier is clearly trying to move the national political debate beyond his government’s recent, bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protestors that resulted in the deaths of at least 88 people. But what little he’s said and done since then suggests his version of reconciliation is so far little different than his military-backed predecessor’s approach.

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