BANGKOK, Sept 23 (Reuters): Thailand received 5.2 million tourists from January to Sept. 21 this year, a government official has confirmed.
Tourism revenue was recorded at 212 billion baht ($5.68 billion) in the same period, said a spokesperson for the government's Covid-19 taskforce, citing official tourism data. Tourism is a key driver of Thailand's economy.
Meanwhile, Thailand's finance minister has confirmed that he had met with central bank officials and asked them to monitor the baht currency closely after it hit its weakest level in nearly 16 years.
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said any interest rate hikes must weigh inflation, growth and capital movements.
The central bank is expected to raise its key interest rate again on Sept. 28 after hiking it in August for the first time in nearly four years by a quarter point to 0.75%, to curb inflation.
The baht has lost about 10.6% this year against a surging U.S. dollar. Its weakness is however benefiting exports, he said, adding the government would continue to help with energy prices and living costs.
Arkhom told reporters the central bank had reported some capital outflow but those were not substantial.
The economy is still expected to grow 3% to 3.5% in 2022, helped by a rebound in the important tourism sector, which should see 8 million foreign visitors this year, Arkhom said. - Reuters