* Tourism, job measures to be put to cabinet next week
* More incentives for Thai travellers
* Q2 economic slump the worst since 1998 Asian crisis
* Subsidies planned to spur creation of 1 million jobs (Adds detail, context)
BANGKOK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Thailand will introduce more stimulus measures to boost tourism, jobs and consumption hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, a deputy prime minister said on Wednesday, including generous subsidies to encourage more hiring and domestic travel.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy suffered its biggest contraction since the 1998 Asian financial crisis in the second quarter as the pandemic put the brakes on vital tourism and domestic activity.
With borders closed to foreign visitors since April, the government plans more incentives to spur local tourism and add more jobs, while other measures will be decided later, Supattanapong Punmeechaow told a briefing.
The tourism and employment perks are expected to be put to cabinet for approval next week, he said after a meeting of a special task force tasked with reviving the economy.
“The job measures should create more than a million jobs, including 400,000 for new graduates,” he said.
The government plans to “co-pay” for new employment with the private sector, Supattanapong said, without elaborating.
On tourism, it plans to increase benefits included in an earlier package to spur domestic travel, to recoup some losses from the absence of foreign tourists, who numbered a record 39.8 million last year, with spending accounting for 11.4% of GDP.
The government hopes to increase its subsidies for hotels, flights and bus tickets, said Danucha Pichayanan, a spokesman for the task force.
The tourism-reliant country is expecting full-year visitor numbers to be less than a fifth of last year’s total. It has shelved its “travel bubble” proposal due to new outbreaks around Asia.
The measures will be financed by the government’s 1 trillion baht borrowing, part of a bigger 1.9 trillion baht coronavirus response package.
The stimulus introduced to shore up the economy would be in line with the COVID-19 situation, Supattapong said, adding: “It’s not to devote all resources in a short period”.
Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty
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