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Thailand’s domestic tourism provided 4 times the number of international travellers in 2019

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Thailand’s domestic tourism provided 4 times the number of international travellers in 2019 | Thaiger

Thailand has had plenty of interruptions to its tourism industry over the past two decades…

There was that other coronavirus scare, ‘SARS’, in 2003, the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, the global recession and riots in Thailand in 2009, major flooding at the end of 2011, political demonstration in 2013 and 2014, the bloodless military coup of May, 2014, the bombing of Erawan Shrine in Bangkok in August, 2015, the tragic boat sinking incident in Phuket in 2018. Despite all these disruptions Thailand’s tourism industry has continued to grow, earning the country a reputation for its ‘Teflon Tourism’.

Of course this year has seen its own dramatic events, this time impacting the entire world with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and its profound effects on the movement of people and the world economy.

Thailand’s tourism has suffered, and remains more exposed more than some regional economies because of the high proportion of revenue from the tourism sector and the contribution to the country’s GDP.

The National Economic and Social Development Council reported in February 2019 that tourism accounted for 18.4% (or close to a fifth) of Thailand’s GDP. It has risen from a level of 14.2 % of GDP just 4 years earlier. As the level of Thai exports has not grown at the same level doing this period, the proportional contribution from tourism has grown.

Thailand's domestic tourism provided 4 times the number of international travellers in 2019 | News by Thaiger

GRAPH: Thai Websites

Tourist arrivals, unsurprisingly, dropped to just 6,691 million arrivals in the first quarter of 2020, some 38.01% down on the same time in 2019. But by March the impacts of the restrictions hadn’t really started to bite. The drop in numbers during March, alone, was -76%.

But Thailand’s tourism sector doesn’t solely rely on foreign visitors. In fact the number of domestic tourists dwarfs the number of foreign tourists. Of course domestic tourists (mostly Thais) spend less per day and their trips tend to be shorter. Still, the numbers are significant. The number of domestic travellers in 2019 was actually much higher than the 39 million foreign arrivals, reaching almost 167 million trips in 2019.

The figures certainly support the Thai Government’s attempts to stimulate domestic tourism whilst the borders remain mostly closed for any sort-to-medium term international tourism. If international tourists are unable to visit the impact on the tourist economy, whilst profound, wouldn’t be catastrophic. When looking at the larger picture, domestic travel remains a very important component of the broader Thai tourism business. Over the last three years, revenue from domestic travel amounted to 35.8% of total revenue gained from tourism.

Thailand's domestic tourism provided 4 times the number of international travellers in 2019 | News by Thaiger

GRAPH: Thai Websites

Another graph from Thai Websites indicates that the ‘boom and bust’ cycle of the alleged high and low seasons is perhaps not as great as people would suggest. Whilst there is a drop of between 15-20% between the first and second quarters each year, the rest of the year is only around 10% below the peaks of the annual high season, around December up to the following February each year. The diversification of nationalities visiting Thailand over the past two decades has certainly ‘flattened the graph’ and reduced the differences between high and low season tourist traffic.

Thailand's domestic tourism provided 4 times the number of international travellers in 2019 | News by Thaiger

GRAPH: Thai Websites

Whilst there will be a complete realignment of world tourism in the next few years, Thailand is working hard to provide a Covid-free environment for the new wave of tourism, whenever that happens. In the meantime it will survive, in a tourism-lite form, with Thais and expats, taking up the opportunity to travel again.

SOURCE: Thai Websites

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Kevin Martyn

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 10:54 am

    It will be an interest to compare with all those Thais that been paid off or sacked from their jobs since March 2020

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 11:46 am

    How do they calculate these figures?
    The only one that could be correct is foreigners arrivals.
    But even so how long do they stay? Without that data foreigners arrivals are no indication of foreigners spend.
    One foreigner could stay a month, another a week.
    Thai tourist travels are not recorded, so how do they know how many Thai tourist numbers there are?
    I think one thing is certain. Thai dual pricing attractions will die.
    Without the foreigners high admission fees, they cannot survive.
    I was on a ferry to Ko Samet once. The Thais on the ferry were taking their own water.
    On the island water prices were very high, and they sold because foreigners were there.
    Thai government stupidity is devastating the economy. Deaths from the virus are not even one percent of those infected.
    Let the people take their chances and save the economy before it is too late.

  3. Avatar

    Mike

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    ” In the meantime it will survive, in a tourism-lite form, with Thais and expats, taking up the opportunity to travel again.”
    That is when they will let us (Expats) come back home to Thailand. Still waiting…………….

  4. Avatar

    Bobby

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Simple message

    This virus is not going anywhere until a vaccine is fully tested and in use. Learn to live with Covid, reduce the risks to a minimum by controlling it, as most of the world is now doing and get on with life, or go broke.
    You can continue avoiding the truth for only so long, because in reality Thai families are becoming desperate with insufficient funds to send their children back to school or even buy sufficient food. Let alone become an internal tourist. wake up Thailand and open the doors without ripping off those that will provide the lifeline you desperately need.

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17 medical staff isolated due to dishonest Covid-19 patient

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17 medical staff isolated due to dishonest Covid-19 patient | Thaiger
PHOTO: Samut Prakan Hospital is busy with Covid-19 and now short-staffed.

The already-strained Samut Prakan provincial hospital isolated 17 medical staff members today after a patient was dishonest about interaction with a Covid-19 infected patient. The patient was not forthcoming with details about coming in contact with a person that had been diagnosed with the Coronavirus. As a result, the hospital announced the mandatory quarantine of 17 medical staff members who had come in close proximity with the patient. In total, 2 doctors, 6 medics, and 9 nurses had to be relegated to self-isolation and removed from the hospitals already thinly spread staff roster.

In a Facebook post just 2 days ago, the hospital announced a sweeping reduction in services to handle the increase in Covid-19 infections. They announced they will no longer take customers from outside of the Samut Prakan province, nor are they doing any surgical procedures that are not urgent. They are advising only the sickest patients come to the hospital in person, offering a mail service with the post office to send medications and fill prescriptions.

Losing 17 medical staff members – doctors, nurses and medics – at such a crucial time will put a heavy strain on the hospital, especially if Covid-19 infections continue to spread. Samut Prakan province reported 27 local Covid-19 infections plus 13 more who transferred to Samut from other provinces, for a total of 40 new Coronavirus cases today alone.

The hospital reminded everyone that failure to disclose information about your Covid-19 infection or contact with any infected people or high-risk location can be prosecuted. Violators may be punished by up to 20,000 baht in fines and possible further legal action. The provincial hospital issued several requests for truthfulness on their Facebook page, stressing that dishonesty harms your own medical care, along with the much-needed medical staff, and only helps proliferate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic’s third wave in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update – latest from the CCSA

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BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update – latest from the CCSA | Thaiger

The CCSA has announced its updated restrictions for the 18 ‘red zone’ provinces this afternoon. The new measures start on Sunday, April 18, and will be in place for at least 2 weeks. The restrictions are basically as we published earlier today. There are no ‘lockdowns’ or curfews despite a popular blogger jumping the gun and posting that there were curfews announced.

There’s also no specific travel restrictions imposed although the PM ‘discouraged’ travel to Red Zone provinces. Provincial governors are still able to add their own local restrictions if they deem necessary.

Here are the key points as announced by the CCSA late this afternoon…

Across all provinces…

• Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlours

(except for international schools running exams)

• No events can have more than 50 people

Provincial red zones (listed below)…

• Dining-in allowed until 9pm (but can do takeaway until 11pm)

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9pm

(Sporting fields, exercise places, gyms and fitness clubs must close at 9pm)

• Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11pm

Everywhere else…

• Dining-in allowed until 11pm

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres to be closed by 9pm

Additionally, people are being discouraged from traveling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise risk of infection at the workplace.

The Red Zone provinces are, in no apparent order…

1. Bangkok
2. Chiang Mai
3. Chon Buri
4. Samut Prakan
5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
6. Samut Sakhon
7. Pathum Thani
8. Nakhon Pathom
9. Phuket
10. Nakhon Ratchasima
11. Nonthaburi
12. Songkhla
13. Tak
14. Udon Thani
15. Suphanburi
16. Sa Kaeo
17. Rayong
18. Khon Kaen

Earlier today Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul said that the government is “confident it can overcome the current Covid-19 crisis without needing to impose a nationwide lockdown”.

BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update - latest from the CCSA | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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