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The World Bank Raises Thailand’s 2023 Growth Forecast to 3.9% Due to Tourism Surge
Published: June 29, 2023 at 7:35 pm
The World Bank has revised its growth forecast for Thailand’s economy in 2023, raising it to 3.9% from the previously projected 3.6%. Announced on Wednesday, this upgraded estimate is largely driven by increased private consumption and a robust recovery in the tourism sector, two critical pillars of the Thai economy.
Thailand, which holds the title of the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, saw its economy expand by 2.6% in 2022. This growth was triggered by a revival in the nation’s tourism industry, which started showing signs of recovery following the lifting of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Bank, Thailand’s economic growth will continue steadily in the coming years. Projections for 2024 and 2025 point to growth rates of 3.6% and 3.4%, respectively. During this period, the primary growth drivers will be the tourism industry and private consumption. Conversely, external demand, a previously significant factor, is anticipated to lessen.
The resurgence of tourists, especially from China, has painted a promising picture for Thailand’s tourism outlook. The World Bank’s estimates suggest that the number of tourist arrivals will surpass previous expectations, reaching 28.5 million this year. This forecasted figure represents a significant recovery, at 84% of the pre-pandemic tourist influx in 2019.
Nevertheless, the World Bank urges caution, highlighting that the path to economic recovery isn’t entirely free of risks. The Thai economy could face potential hurdles stemming from weaker-than-expected global growth and persistent political instability, which could pose significant challenges to the projected growth rates.