BANGKOK, Tourist arrivals in Thailand are ticking up as the kingdom eases some of its restrictions to welcome foreign travellers starting July 1.
In its latest forecast, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said as international air traffic resumes to about 10 per cent of pre-COVID-19 pandemic level, tourist arrivals this year may drop to 8.2 million and tourism receipts are projected to plunge to 396 billion baht (100 baht = RM13.68)
TAT said Thailand welcomed 6.7 million tourists in the first three months this year and zero international tourists from April 3 to June 30 following Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s decision to impose an international flight ban.
As Thailand plans to implement travel bubbles with countries that have managed to contain COVID-19, TAT forecasts Thailand will receive between 14 and 16 million tourists this year.
Starting July 1, foreign travellers including business travellers, those who need medical treatment in the kingdom, permanent residents, foreign spouses and children of Thai nationals, international students and teachers were allowed to enter the kingdom.
Meanwhile, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said foreign tourist arrivals in the third quarter may reach 300,000 with a revenue of 12.4 billion baht.
“The fourth quarter will see a further 1.2 million added to the market with revenue of 51.3 billion baht, but despite the high season those figures are 85 per cent and 90 per cent behind the same period of last year, respectively,” he said as quoted by the Bangkok Post.
Meanwhile, Thailand will launch a new package to encourage people to travel during weekdays to boost domestic tourism and boost the kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.2 to 0.3 per cent.
The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) is drafting measures to attract people to travel during weekdays.
Last month, Thailand’s cabinet approved a domestic tourism stimulus of 22.4 billion baht to boost the tourism sector hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The package, rolled out from July to October, including subsidies of 40 per cent for domestic airfares, for up to 1,000 baht and 40 per cent of hotel room rates for up to 3,000 baht per night.
Besides that, the Thai government is also offering a 2,000 baht incentive to 1.2 million medical personnel, health officials and volunteers for domestic trips.
Thailand has recorded two new COVID-19 cases – Thai nationals returned from India and Indonesia, and zero fatalities over the last 24 hours, bringing its tally to 3,197 with the death toll remaining at 58.
To date, a total of 3,074 COVID-19 patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals while 65 remain warded.
Source: Nam News Network