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Cloudy Outlook For Thailand’s Tourism Industry

Published: March 29, 2022 at 7:36 pm

Tourists in Koh Tao

According to the Tourism Council of Thailand, the tourism index in the first quarter remained down. The possibility of increased unemployment continues to cloud the country’s tourism forecast for the second quarter due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and COVID-19.

“Tourism establishments continue to struggle to stay in business since the number of guests remains low as a result of the current travel restrictions. This impediment must be addressed before businesses go bankrupt “

– Chamnan Srisawat, President of Tourism Council of Thailand.

As per the survey conducted by TCT from February 20 and March 10, about 71% of foreign travelers agree that they experience hassles with the  RT-PCR test upon arrival requirement while visiting Thailand.  Nevertheless, TCT’s latest tourism confidence index for the first quarter of this year was 44, up significantly from 36 in the same period of 2021 but still down from 47 in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The tourism confidence index of less than 100 indicates low industry confidence. Another survey conducted between February 20 and March 10, also found that entertainment establishments had the lowest confidence level at 20, down from 41 in the same period of 2021.

78% of businesses are trying to raise revenue, 45% reported a decline in profitability, and 33% reported maintaining revenue at a somewhat higher level than the previous quarter. Despite the country’s reopening in November, 20 of 140 hotels continued to reduce employees.

The entertainment sector is the most affected with around 44% of such venues planning to decrease their workforce in the next quarter, followed by massage parlors and spas at 24% and tour operators at 10%.

Mr. Chamnan said that Thai tourism needs to maintain 40% of its 2019 level, or 1.2 trillion baht to make the tourism industry sustainable. This includes 16 million international visitors and 75 million domestic flights.

The government must revise or remove current travel restrictions including the time-consuming Thailand Pass and RT-PCR testing in order to make travel hassle-free.

Source: Bangkok Post

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