Krungsri Research lowered its forecast of the number of foreign tourists coming to Thailand this year to 3.3 hundred thousand with an economic expansion overall of 2 percent.
According to the forecast, the third wave of Covid-19 outbreaks in Thailand could extremely affect the entry of foreign tourists this year. Based on the number of new daily infections, it is estimated that the number might drop to below 100 between late July and late August based on both vaccinations and control of the Covid-19 situation in Thailand. The results could affect the plan to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine in pilot areas like Pattaya.
It is likely that foreign tourists will still be few in the third quarter of 2021 but will gradually increase in the fourth quarter with the assistance of the Phuket Sandbox operation scheduled to begin on July 1st. A successful roll-out of the sandbox and implementation of similar programs like “Move On” in Pattaya, could see tourists gradually return to Thailand.
Additionally, factors that pressure Thailand’s major tourist markets are likely to recover more slowly than previously expected. For example:
- A Thai-Chinese Intelligence Center survey shows that one-third of Chinese tourists said they would wait for about six months after the outbreak was over before traveling, even if China allowed travel and group tours.
- The daily numbers of new infections in India and Malaysia remain high, both key tourism markets for Thailand.
- Delayed vaccination in Japan and South Korea as well as their current conditions that may limit cross-country travel at the moment. Both countries are also popular tourist markets for Thailand.
- Australia is unlikely to allow its citizens to travel internationally for tourism this year.
Krungsri Research’s forecast, therefore, estimates that the number of foreign tourists coming to Thailand in 2021 will be approximately 3.3 hundred thousand people from the previous estimation of 3 million this year. Expected tourist markets will likely be Russia and Germany at this time, according to Thai Tourism Authority research. UK and America are also possibilities.
As a comparison, notes TPN media, in 2019 Thailand welcomed roughly 40 million tourists. Pattaya, home of TPN media, welcomed almost 10 million tourists that year and was the 19th most visited city in the world.
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