Thailand set to boost domestic tourism industry

Published on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020

On Monday, Thailand’s state planning agency announced that the country is planning to work towards boosting its domestic tourism industry in the third quarter of the year. The decision comes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic as international travel restrictions continue to stay in place. The plan is being undertaken with the aim of providing help and support to the struggling economy of Thailand that largely depends on the tourism industry.

As global travel is presently on a standstill, the tourism industry and economy of Thailand is being harshly impacted. The agency also informed that the export and tourism-driven economy of the country can decrease by 5% to 6% for the year. This is also considered to be the worst situation the country faced since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

According to reports, the plans to boost domestic tourism might be financed with the approximate 1 trillion baht ($31.3 billion) the government has decided to borrow to reduce the critical impact of the coronavirus pandemic on jobs. The plan might include initiatives like subsidies on rooms and other benefits. However, none of the programs and investment plans has been finalised as of now.

Thosaporn Sirisumphand, Head, National Economic and Social Development Council said in a recent press statement that only government spending and tax measures are being used at the moment to help the economy of Thailand as other engines of the country are off amid the pandemic. He mentioned that tourism should be considered as a fast economic stimulator and informed that the country might open for tourists once again if the situation improves in days to come.

The government is expected to roll out an economic stimulus package for domestic travel and tourism of Thailand from the month of July, the details of which is set to arrive by the middle of June. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has previously informed that the foreign tourist arrivals in the country may shrink down to 65% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Spending by foreign tourists accounted for 11.4% of Thailand’s GDP last year, while domestic tourism made around 6%.

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