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Deputy PM says 2 years until Thailand’s economy is back to normal

Caitlin Ashworth




It’s going to be another 2 years until Thailand’s economy is back on track, according to Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow. At least that’s the amount of time he expects it will take to get the economy back to “normal levels” from before the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis crippled economies across the globe. The Covid-19 pandemic is already the worst global crisis since World War II, according to a report by the UN. Thailand’s tourism-dependant economy has been struggling since the country shut it’s doors to international travel. Krungthai Bank also predicts it will take about 2 to 3 years for Thailand’s economy to recover and the Finance Ministry predicts Thailand’s economy will contract by a record of 8.5% this year.

Almost 800 billion baht has gone into supporting the economy, Supattanapong says, adding that the government plans to do more stimulus perks to help boost the economy. The government is working on a 1.9 trillion baht response package with a 1 trillion baht borrowing plan.

Supattanapong’s guesses are based on the pandemic situation not getting any worse, whilst the world’s Covid cases, in many part of the world, including many of Thailand’s feeder markets, are suffering a new spike in cases. His assumptions would also have to include an immediate return to high profit of the country’s tourism industry – not likely to happen any time soon.

“I think the economy should get back to normal levels within two years… But if we can manage it very well, we may see that late next year.”

While Thailand’s economy as a whole might take just 2 years to get back to normal, the country’s tourism revenue is expected to take even longer. Krungthai COMPASS Research Centre predicts it will be at least 3 to 4 years until tourism revenue is back to normal. Thailand’s tourism revenue is expected to shrink by 70% by the end of this year, making only 9.1 billion baht compared to the 3.02 trillion baht tourism brought in last year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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  1. Avatar


    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow today’s work was to throw a dice, get a 2, announce the public that it will take 2 years for economy to be back to normal, then go online and buy golden watches, well done ! you deserve a salary rise !

  2. Avatar

    Graham White

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    It would be nice to hear from the finance minister on the subject. Oh, I forgot, one was fired and the next one ran away. I’m sure we will have one soon though because our great leader promised.

  3. Avatar


    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Now I know the guy whom has stollen my crystal ball….I go and report to the Police

  4. Avatar

    Patrick Robert Marcel nouvel

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    lets try to sort out a figure
    Tourism represent about 25% of the GDP including side involved supporting biz
    20% of it from nationals so 20% GDP related roughly to foreign tourism incomes
    Say 3 months at beg year were fine so 9 months fully lost with about 0 foreign tourist means 15% of GDP Lost ?
    Other sectors are under a domino game due lack of general incomes and international contraction country will lose some 5 to 8% further GDP, Am I right of wrong to thing more about 20% contraction rather than 8 or 9 ? I might be wrong please tell me since other figures showing 17 Trillions bath GDP 2019, foreign tourism revenues 2019 = 1,9 trillion X 75% = 1,4 TRILLIONS LOST, so less that 10% GDP but on its own.

  5. Avatar

    rinky stingpiece

    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    His guesstimate seems reasonable. 2021 looks like a write-off too, at least until next October. It seems unrealistic to expect tourism to return to pre-COVID levels, maybe they can work their way towards 25% of that, and gradually reach 50%, but boomtime seems over.

  6. Avatar


    Friday, September 25, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    What is considered “normal”, surely its not 100% of pre-Covid level. More likely something in the 70-80% range? My real wonder is how to get to normal in 2 years when it will take 3-4 years to do so with tourism which makes up some 25% of GDP?

  7. Avatar


    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Dream , dream , dream……

  8. Avatar


    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:13 am

    It will rake much longer for the international community to forget how you have hassled and treated the foreign tourists stuck here during this crises. The yachts who come here every year and spend much to have boat work done will not forget. Word is spreading fast among the yachtie community and websites.

  9. Avatar


    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Don’t be surprised if 1 15 marina out of Singapore cancels it’s plan to build a new marina near Phuket town.

    • Avatar

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:27 am

      If you have some inside info, send us an email to

      • Avatar


        Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:49 am

        No inside info. Google “ONE°15 marina plans to build new marina in Phuket”. Project announced in Feb, several meetings held since then with Thai government. Thai yachting industry will suffer for many years to come due the current feeling among yachts here.

  10. Avatar


    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Dear Mr. Deputy dick-tater. What hat do you pull these projections out of? dream on. Normal is never coming back. Tourists will come but nowhere near the numbers of the gravy train years to support Thailand’s 25% reliance on tourism. One could see the arrival numbers dropping before covid arrived. Tourist industry employees: go back up country and re-hone your agriculture skills. Re-hone those fishing and aqua culture skills. Thats your future now. Hope and pray for partial export rebound even with your over valued local currency. Yes, its grim but it’s reality. Your dick-tater will pull your strings.

    • Avatar

      Patrick Robert Marcel nouvel

      Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 10:01 am

      true !!! as a resort we saw drop of 30% revenues during the last semester of 2019 already against the previous years, mainly due to the high rate of the Bath then deeper and larger coming up competitions over tourism by the neighboring countries, not to forget and addition of the xenophobia and racist approaches to the farangs by the Thai government responsibles at the highest level…goodbye Thailand has already been registered and will deepen in near future Covid or not covid.

  11. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Foreigners has lost trust in Thailand due to the way they have been treated.
    The government has no credibility, and even if this government was removed it is likely to be replaced by another just as bad.
    Foreign owned property will be unloaded.
    Business will flee Thailand.
    Investment will be cancelled.
    Bar girls will be kissed goodbye.
    Well perhaps not the last one.

  12. Avatar

    Billy B

    Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 9:48 am

    My prediction may sound naive, but I predict as soon as flights are allowed back in with no quarantine, tourism will return to normal-ish levels within a few months. I am a frequent tourist who happened to be there during various crises: red and yellow shirt uprising (I was at the airport the night it got closed by yellow shirts), the floods, coups, bombings and the day after the king passed away. In the states, people (like myself) can’t wait to come back. Every time, Thailand always made a swift recovery.
    For the US tourists, first the media need to shut up about the Covid (after the election)
    Second, the curve needs to be lowered more (it is heading down)
    Third, Thailand needs to realize the economic disaster is more of a collective hardship than Covid

    I find the Special Tourist Visa to be kind of absurd. One has to go through the two week quarantine and have to stay at least 90 days? I suppose they have statistics about the rich folks and stay that long but most of them would never want the 14-day quarantine.

  13. Avatar

    Crispy Fruitcake

    Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 10:48 am

    A mature, confident and outward-looking government and people would accept the covid setback as-is, but take it as a pause in which to rethink and renew itself and build a new to-be.
    The government is much to focused on holding its people in check. It needs to share its power and wealth for a deep and widespread rejuvenation. It encourages petty racism to distract attention but how does this help an economy 25% reliant on tourism? The people want to break out and go somewhere.
    It is a time to spend the massive foreign reserves and borrow and amazingly low interest rates.
    Invest in basic infrastructure, in the tourist industry, in education of the people as a basic crying-out need, in the health of the nation.
    Plan too for a shrinking and aging population. This means attracting young people from other ASEAN countries to make Thailand their home – who else will pay the taxes and pensions?
    So lots to think about and do. Is the government capable of rising to the challenge? Regroup, rethink, relax, open up. Let go. Open up.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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