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Signs Of Recovery Seen After November Reopening

Published: November 22, 2021 at 7:17 pm

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Thailand’s reopening has not yet resulted in a huge number of foreign tourist arrivals, but the tourism sector sees recovery from the pandemic with a steady stream of arrivals. According to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), approximately 60,000 foreign travelers entered Thailand within the first 16 days of November.

With daily arrivals increasing, this month may hit the 100,000 tourists target set by the Executive Chairman of Kasikorn Research Centre. He believed the target number was realistic and demonstrated considerable success in the early reopening phases.

Although the numbers may not be sufficient to save all business establishments affected by the pandemic, there are signs of a gradual and steady rebound over the next year or two. The National Economic and Social Development Council believed that 257,000 international visitors would come to the country by the end of 2021, and 5 million tourists would arrive in 2022. It would be a significant increase over this year but would be somewhat less than the 6.7 million tourists Thailand received in 2019, the majority of whom arrived before the pandemic.

Thailand’s tourism industry accounted for 20% of GDP before the pandemic. Domestic tourism produced 1.1 trillion baht in 2019, while foreign tourists generated 1.9 trillion baht. Thai tourists are predicted to create 66.7 million visits this year, a decrease of 26.3% from the previous year. They are expected to climb to between 109 and 155 million trips by 2022, earning about 700 billion baht.

As major tourist attractions reopen, Maya Bay is scheduled to reopen in January after being closed since 2018 to rebuild its ecosystem destroyed by the location’s extreme popularity. 7,000 tourists visit the beach daily before its shutdown. The beach’s reopening will restrict visits to 2,000 per day only.

While the country’s COVID-19 status is ranging from 6,000 to 7,000 cases per day and vaccination rates have been slowly increasing, the situation in other provinces shows signs of tourism recovery. China’s strict travel restrictions, which mostly prohibit its nationals from traveling overseas remain a challenge in the country’s tourism plans.

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SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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