Thailand Tourism is worried of slipping numbers

Haew Suwat Waterfall thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says that if the country remains closed in the last quarter of the year, the number of foreign tourists will dramatically shrink to seven million for 2020.

TAT deputy governor for tourism products and services, Thapanee Kiatphaibool, said while domestic tourism has started to rebound, most businesses are still feeling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first six months of this year, the number of foreign tourists stood at 6.69 million, a contraction of 66% compared with 2019, according to a report by Bangkok Post.

The industry, however, has been helped by Thai tourists, who numbered 54.5 million over the same period. This year’s tourism revenue has been forecast by the TAT at 1.23 trillion baht against 1.93 trillion baht in 2019. The number of foreign tourists will likely stand at just seven million, lower than the TAT’s target of nine million.

Director-general of the Department of Health Panpimon Wipulakorn said Phuket is a closed area where it is easier to manage pandemic control efforts, when asked about the government’s plan to open Phuket first to foreign tourists.

The Urban Design and Development Centre and the Centre of Excellence in Urban Strategies (UddC-CEUS) recently also proposed a project to revive tourist cities using Phuket as a case study to design a tourism ecosystem that suits public health measures, Bangkok Post reported.