More tourists expected during end of the year

Much-needed help: Traditional longtail boats seen on Koh Yao Yai island in the Andaman Sea. The country is gradually opening up to a limited numbers of visitors to give some support to a tourism-­dependent economy that has been badly affected by the pandemic. — AFP

The country expects to receive 1,200 foreign visitors in both November and December, after a slight easing of travel curbs aimed at generating some income until a ban on mass tourism is lifted, its tourism authority chief said.

The country is gradually opening up to a limited numbers of visitors during the coronavirus pandemic to give some support to a tourism-dependent economy that the government expects to shrink by 6% this year.

The new arrivals, however, would be a fraction of the number in 2019, a record year.

Thailand recorded 1,201 foreign visitors in October, all on special 90-day visas requiring a 14-day quarantine period, compared to 3.07 million arrivals last October.

“We rather hope this will signal the opening up of the country, ” said Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said on Friday.

Those tourists would each spend about 200,000-400,000 baht (RM26,831-RM53,662), he said.

Thailand’s tight entry restrictions have helped keep its Covid-19 cases to under 4,000, but caused widespread economic damage and many job losses.

In January-October, foreign tourist numbers fell 79.5% to 6.69 million, with commercial flights to Thailand halted in April.

In 2019, a record 39.9 million visitors spent 1.91 trillion baht (RM256bil), or about 11.3% of gross domestic product.

Yuthasak said arrivals might be 8 million in 2021 as global travel may remain subdued until late in the year.

“But the situation is still very fluid, ” he said, and dependent on global infections and vaccine access.

One private tourism group expects up to 10 million foreign tourists next year and hopes Thailand will open up more and remove quarantine requirements.

“Our customers are ready to travel and agents are also ready but our country is not open, ” said Chairat Triratanajaraspon, president of The Tourism Council of Thailand.

Thailand has in the meantime offered incentives to boost domestic tourism and hopes to restart talks with China on a travel bubble. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


67% readers found this article insightful

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines as at 6pm Thursday
Laos receives patrol cars from Japan to counter terrorism
38 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including four in community
Fire at India vaccine plant; coronavirus drug production 'not affected'
Covid-19 cases rise to 135,721 in Myanmar
Malaysia supports call for Asean Covid-19 response fund: Foreign Ministry
2,804 people being isolated over Covid-19 in Laos
40 per cent of Singapore-based employers plan to hire more staff: Survey
SC expands grant scheme to promote sustainable devt fund raising
Muslim groups wary of Indonesia's new terror prevention plan

Stories You'll Enjoy