Thailand expects steep plunge in tourism numbers

Published on : Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Bank of Thailand said in a statement, Thailand’s tourism industry will face greater risks next year if the government continues to restrict foreign travellers from entering the country.

Foreign arrivals could be downgraded from a projection of 8 million this year and 16 million next year given the deflated tourism outlook, said Don Nakornthab, senior director of the economic and policy department.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry and the National Economic and Social Development Council already cut their projections for this year’s foreign tourist arrivals to 6.7 million and next year’s to 12 million.

The difference of 1.3 million foreign arrivals this year in projections from the central bank and the two state organisations would result in a 0.5 per cent decline in Thailand’s GDP, said Mr Don.

The loss cannot be computed directly into full-year GDP calculations because there are other economic factors to be considered, he said.

Thailand received no foreign tourist arrivals for the fourth consecutive month in July as international travel restrictions remain in place to safeguard against a second outbreak.

Foreign arrivals to Thailand reached 40 million in 2019, with revenue generated from the tourism industry contributing almost 20 per cent of GDP.

With inbound flight restrictions still in place, the ratio of foreign travellers is expected to shrink by 100 per cent year-on-year between April and December, said Mr Don.

The central bank also factored in the possibility of a second wave outbreak as other Asian countries have suffered this predicament. New infections of around 20-30 cases per day are acceptable, he said.

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