Tourist arrivals in Thailand seen to drop by six million

The number of foreign visitors to Thailand may fall by six million this year to 33.8 million, the lowest in four years as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said.

The number was downgraded from last month’s forecast of 35 million visitors this year, down 12 per cent over the record 39.8 million in 2019, due largely to fewer tourists from China, Thailand’s biggest source of visitors.

Visitor numbers in February slumped by 40 per cent, with a deeper contraction expected in March and April, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters. April should be the weakest month, with tourist numbers likely tumbling 50 to 60 per cent, he said.

The outbreak’s impact is expected to last for five to six months, and tourist numbers should turn positive from July, according to Supasorn, who added that Thailand could lose as much as 500 billion baht ($16 billion) in tourist revenue if there were no measures to support the industry.

Tourism is crucial to Thailand as spending from foreign visitors amounted to 1.93 trillion baht ($61.45 billion) last year, or 11 per cent of GDP. Nearly 11 million Chinese tourists made up 28 per cent of foreign arrivals and spent about 544 billion ($17.32 billion) baht last year.

Yuthasuk said he believes that Thailand will be one of the prime destinations for Chinese tourists after the coronavirus epidemic.

 “We should better ourselves to embrace them in the coming future,” he said.

The number of foreign visitors to Thailand may fall by six million this year to 33.8 million, the lowest in four years as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said. The number was downgraded from last month’s forecast of 35 million visitors this year, down 12 per cent over the record 39.8 million in 2019, due largely to fewer tourists from China, Thailand's biggest source of visitors. Visitor numbers in February slumped by 40 per cent, with a deeper contraction expected in March and April, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters. April should be...

The number of foreign visitors to Thailand may fall by six million this year to 33.8 million, the lowest in four years as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said.

The number was downgraded from last month’s forecast of 35 million visitors this year, down 12 per cent over the record 39.8 million in 2019, due largely to fewer tourists from China, Thailand’s biggest source of visitors.

Visitor numbers in February slumped by 40 per cent, with a deeper contraction expected in March and April, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters. April should be the weakest month, with tourist numbers likely tumbling 50 to 60 per cent, he said.

The outbreak’s impact is expected to last for five to six months, and tourist numbers should turn positive from July, according to Supasorn, who added that Thailand could lose as much as 500 billion baht ($16 billion) in tourist revenue if there were no measures to support the industry.

Tourism is crucial to Thailand as spending from foreign visitors amounted to 1.93 trillion baht ($61.45 billion) last year, or 11 per cent of GDP. Nearly 11 million Chinese tourists made up 28 per cent of foreign arrivals and spent about 544 billion ($17.32 billion) baht last year.

Yuthasuk said he believes that Thailand will be one of the prime destinations for Chinese tourists after the coronavirus epidemic.

 “We should better ourselves to embrace them in the coming future,” he said.

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