Back To Pre-Pandemic: Central Bank Expects Thai Economic Recovery In 2023
Published: June 28, 2021 at 6:04 pm
The economy of Thailand is projected to reach before pandemic levels in the first 3 months of 2023, the central bank stated Monday, despite a sluggish rebound in tourism due to COVID-19. The tourism-dependent country, battling the Covid-19 pandemic, is scheduled to reopen Phuket island to inoculate foreign tourists in a trial experiment named Phuket Sandbox on Thursday, followed by a complete reopening within 120 days.
The central bank carefully evaluates the economy and is prepared to take appropriate action, deputy governor Mathee Supapongse said at a seminar. The central bank reduced its forecast for 2021 Gross domestic product growth from 3% last week to 1.8% and projected just 700,00 foreign visitors this year. The central bank expects ten million international tourists next year and a GDP growth of 3.9%. This month Thailand started its mass vaccination program, but vaccine supply is limited.
Thailand lost roughly $50 billion in tourist income in 2020 as foreign visitors fell from 40 million in 2019 to 6.7 million due to stricter protocols and worldwide travel restrictions.
The Tourism Council of Thailand projects 3 million foreign visitors this year, due to Phuket Sandbox and the resumption of 9 other major tourist locations in the fourth quarter, vice president Vichit Prakobgoson “However, if the other 9 areas are unable to reopen and China continues to prevent its residents from traveling, we will see approximately 500,000 tourists,” he said.
The council anticipates that 25 million foreign tourists spend 1.5 trillion baht ($47 billion) next year. The sector will stabilize over the next two years, Vichit added, emphasizing that vaccines and government assistance would be essential.