Thailand’s tourist industry could be decimated in the wake of the world coronavirus outbreak. Tourism accounts for an estimated 16% of Thailand’s total GDP.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, Yutthasak Supasorn, says that, in a worst case scenario, Thailand could bleed 10 million of it’s projected 40 million tourist arrivals this year. He says his estimates were based on whether “the Covid-19 outbreak is not contained soon”.

“In the worst case, the number could fall to 30 million foreign tourists or about 10 million lower than last year.

From January 25 – February 29, the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand decreased by 40% compared to the same period last year. Not surprisingly, 81% of the drop was the Chinese tourist market.

“As for revenue from foreign tourists, we estimate 1.5 billion baht this year, or about three-quarters of last year’s total revenue.”

Speaking to the media, the TAT governor remained upbeat about the country’s prospects to recover from the affects of the outbreak on Thailand’s tourism.

“We believe that the outbreak could be controlled by the end of March, which means April could be the lowest point for foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand.”

“After that the number will start growing again by July. However, if the lowest point is delayed to May, it would take at least three months or until September to see an increase in the number of tourists again,” according to reports in The Nation.

Governor Yutthasak added, that by the end of this week, TAT should have a conclusion on whether it should organise any official activities for this year’s Songkran Festival.

“We will discuss with the private sector soon as there are public concerns about Covid-19 spreading by throwing water,. However, we still believe that the festival can be held by adjusting the form and focus on cultural aspects of Songkran.”

Source: THE THAIGER

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