Intel & Data

Thailand’s Privilege Card Memberships Surge Past 36,000 Amid Global Unrest

Thailand’s Privilege Card program, which offers long-stay visas ranging from five to 20 years, saw a sharp increase in its membership roster during 2023

Formerly known as the Thailand Elite Visa, the program recently underwent a restructuring, consolidating its offerings from eight packages to four: Gold, Diamond, Platinum, and Reserve. The prices range from THB 900,000 (around US$27,000) to THB 5 million (US$150,000), with the exclusive Reserve card available only by invitation.

The new-look Thailand Privilege Card program registered a record-breaking 11,846 new members during the 2023 fiscal year.

Manatase Annawat, the president of Thailand Privilege Card Co (TPC), the card operator, said that the program achieved its goals for 2023 of “increasing membership by 108%,” presumably referring to new memberships sold compared to the previous year. 

Annawat attributes this rapid growth to geopolitical conflicts and political instability in numerous countries worldwide, stating that in times of conflict, millionaires look for "a second home to live happily in, and Thailand is one such destination."

According to Annawat, the Privilege Card boasted 36,397 active members as of February 29, 2024, indicating it had signed up another 3,707 members in the first five months of the current fiscal year.

The Russian market has risen to become the fifth-largest market for membership, with 1,132 members. Other emerging markets include Myanmar, with 535 members, and Taiwan, with 1,236 members.

China remains the leading market, said Annawat, accounting for 45% of all memberships, followed by Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia. President Annawat did not specify how many Americans, Japanese, or British members were now active.

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TPC Sets $1.5 Billion Revenue Goal

Capitalizing on the growing demand and a major rebranding exercise, Annawat announced that the TPC has set an ambitious revenue target of THB 50 billion (some US$1.5 billion) of total TPC economic contribution for 2024.

Annawat underlined that Privilege Card members tend to stay longer in Thailand than regular visitors, with an average of 3.6 yearly trips and fifty days per trip. The average expenditure per member was THB 1.8 million in 2023.

"With the strategies in place and the potential of Thailand, we are confident that within 2024, Thailand Privilege Card will be able to reach the target groups, with the goal of having more than 39,000 members, contributing over 50,000 million baht to the country's economy and moving towards global leadership in long-term visa privileges," Annawat stated.

To reach its goals, TPC aims to expand its customer base to new groups, including India, Gulf countries, and the LGBT community. The agency is increasing its vendor and partner networks to meet demands and recruiting more sales staff in new markets. Additionally, TPC is improving back-end systems with the latest technologies and analytics, said the company.

Southeast Asian Long-Stay Visa Comparison Chart

Thapanee Kiatphaibool, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), praised the program's success and pledged to work with TPC to sustain its economic benefits for the country. 

Kiatphaibool stated that the TAT is working to transform Thailand into a distinctive, sustainable destination with strong soft power influences.

However, the Thailand Privilege Card program may face greater competition. The Malaysian government's decision to ease its MM2H requirements will also have caught the attention of potential investors.

It is too early to rule out Indonesia's Golden Visa, even if some observers have expressed their misgivings about it. The Golden Visa's mere existence emphasizes the region's growing acceptance of residency by investment. 

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Ahmad Abbas AdministratorAuthorSubscriberParticipant
Director of Content Services , Investment Migration Insider

Ahmad Abbas is Director of Content Services at Investment Migration Insider and an 8-year veteran of the investment migration industry.

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