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3 to 4 years for tourism revenue to recover, research centre says

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Thai Publica

It’s going to take years for Thailand’s tourism revenue to recover. A lack of international tourists caused income to drastically drop and it’s going to be at least 3 to 4 years until revenue is back to normal, according to the Krungthai COMPASS Research Centre.

Many tourism companies are also changing their marketing approach to stay in business, focusing on a domestic tourist base rather than foreign tourists.

By the end of this year, Thailand’s tourism revenue is expected to shrink by 70%, making only 9.1 billion baht compared to the 3.02 trillion baht tourism brought in last year.

Things are expected to get better next year, but still not close to what was projected before the pandemic. The centre predicts the income will be 59% lower than what was expected. Assuming that a vaccine will be available by the end of this year, the centre estimated tourism will bring in 1.24 trillion baht in 2021.

Entry restrictions are still tight and only a limited number of international tourists may be allowed to enter Thailand next year. The centre estimates that domestic tourists will make up 64% of the revenue.

Senior director for the research centre, Phacharapot Nantharamas, says many tourism businesses need to come up with a “new normal tourism style” now that the customer base has changed to domestic tourists. He says the number of Thai tourists increased from 36% before the pandemic to 70%, adding that Thais typically travel outside of the country during the holiday season.

“They may instead travel within the country and create up to approximately 14 million trips in the year since domestic travel takes fewer days and allows them to travel more often.”

An analyst for the centre, Kittipong Ruentip, says businesses who adapt to the “new normal” of tourism, with a local customer base, are doing fairly well. But for those who are still focused on targeting foreign tourists, it is difficult for them to make as much as they did before the pandemic.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Friday, September 11, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    What happened to “villa quarantine”?
    Perhaps they could look into developing some kind of covid bars where girls in suitably ventilated tropical nurse outfits could set up IV drips for ethanol, and attend to the patients with bedbaths with copious amounts of soapy disinfectant, and high frequency catheter changes? Medical tourism, no?

  2. Avatar

    Glenn

    Friday, September 11, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    well domestic tourism is nice, but it’s a net zero. Just money spent on a hotel, eats, and some entertainment that would have been spent elsewhere in the economy.

    international tourism is a 100% net positive, obviously. All money is incoming.

    and the longer that the govt keeps the boarders closed, the more people that will loose jobs, businesses, savings, and – oops, the govt will loose a boatload of tax revenue. Oops we forgot that?

    therefore the slightly uplifting optimistic as they can make it sound report is just a load of #$%^&*!.

    • Avatar

      Bobby m

      Friday, September 11, 2020 at 11:21 pm

      It’s exactly as you say Glenn.

      They have also failed to grasp the fact that the increase in internal tourism contains an amount of wealthy Thais that have only taken their holidays internally because they can’t get back into the country without quarantine, if they travel out. Once the entry restrictions are lifted, they will travel out of Thailand leaving the internal numbers to fall back to where they were before. As for refocusing to attract more takers. You can’t sell a holiday to someone with no money to pay for it.

      It’s almost unbelievable

    • Avatar

      John C.

      Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 12:37 am

      > the govt will loose a boatload of tax revenue. Oops we forgot that?

      I’m fairly sure they don’t need some sexpat with a room temperature IQ to remind them of this.

  3. Avatar

    Harold H.

    Friday, September 11, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Idiocy beyond anything I’ve ever seen.

    But this is what happens when you have a poorly educated military junta running the country. They prioritize ‘safety from COVID’ over the health and economic well-being of most of their citizens.

    Let’s all sit back and watch Thailand collapse back into the Third World country it was only a couple of decades ago, with half its population struggling to keep a roof over their head, while their inept military government keeps coming up with useless ‘plan’ after useless ‘plan’ to save them.

    Thank God I left Thailand when I did, because I wouldn’t wish living in this mess of a country on my worst enemy,

    • Avatar

      Perceville Smithers

      Friday, September 11, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      You never left!

    • Avatar

      Gosport

      Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 9:41 am

      You are here trapped, whining

  4. Avatar

    Johnny Rambo

    Friday, September 11, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Harold H.@

    To be honest: Thailand has always been one of the most racist and xenophobic countries in the world. Now the government uses Covid 19 as an excuse to eradicate the international tourism in Thailand and turn the country into another super-isolated North Korea. Lets boycott this disgraceful country and see how long they can survive without international tourists.

    • Avatar

      J.C.

      Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 12:43 am

      Most of the xenophobes are the so-called “elite”, many of whom are Thai-Chinese. The real Thai people suffer under them and their military junta far more than any expat or tourist does.

    • Avatar

      murika

      Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      Thailand is not more racist than any other country, they welcome 40 millions tourist every year, they are nationalist and protective witch is a good thing, otherwise the land would already belong to foreigners, like you can see in south america for example, where locals can’t own any land, i think you just hang out in the wrong places, like phukett and pataya, and you don’t speak the language so you get paranoid when a thai look at you and speak his own language, go live in a small village and learn thai and you will see that most thais are very nice and open meet and be friend with farangs…

  5. Avatar

    Rajkumar

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:40 am

    why my comment not appear ?

  6. Avatar

    Rajkumar

    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    good news

  7. Avatar

    Bob

    Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 8:03 am

    Isn’t 9 billion out of 3.02 trillion a loss of 99.7%?

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai government says Covid treatment is free, but patients report hefty bills

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Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

Despite the Thai government repeatedly saying all Covid-19 patients will receive free treatment, hefty bills are being posted on social media. Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Health Service Support Department, insisted again that the treatment for Covid is free at any state or private hospital, but listed maximum amounts on coverage for individuals. The National Health Security Office says it will pay 7,200 baht in medicines for each patient, 1,500 baht per night in a hospital, field hospital or hospitel, and 3,800 baht for other items related to the virus treatment.

But the NHSO secretary-general cited bills as being much higher on average per person, insisting that even those bills will and have been paid.

“Patients don’t have to pay even when being treated in a private hospital because the NHSO will reimburse the cost. On average, we pay private hospitals about Bt100,000 per [Covid] patient with moderate symptoms, and have paid 800,000 baht to 1 million baht for severe cases.”

1 patient reported being hit with a bill of 937,979 baht for 16 days in a private hospital, which included 3 days in intensive care. Another reported a bill of 989,670 baht for 17 days in hospital, 13 of which were spent in ICU. Another person, Danai Rung, says he called the NHSO hotline, after being given a large bill, and said the hotline representative told him his hospital wasn’t covered under the NHSO.

“The claim that Covid-19 treatment is free at all hospitals is definitely untrue,” he said on Public Health Ministry’s Facebook page for Covid-19 updates. “I have had to pay 340,000 baht of the 480,000 baht bill. The insurance only covered about 140,000 baht.”

Even private hospitals are claiming that the difference in specialists’ fees and medical supplies make the cost of treatment higher compared to those getting treatment at public hospitals. The difference, unlike what the NHSO has stated, will be paid by the patient.

Thonburi Healthcare Group’s chairman, Boon Vanasin, said recently that when a patient is diagnosed with Covid-19 in a private hospital, they may either be admitted or transferred to another designated medical facility. In this case, the treatment will be free.

“But if the patient refuses the process prescribed by the government and chooses to be treated in their own hospital, then they will have to pay the difference between the medical cover provided by the government and fees charged by private hospitals.”

Patients are advised to call the NHSO 1330 hotline if they are asked to pay for Covid-19 care. So far, the Public Health Ministry says it has resolved 44 complaints involving 75 patients. All these patients have been refunded the money taken from them by private hospitals, who said the money was collected by mistake or taken as a guarantee.

The NHSO says operators of medical facilities who illegally charge for Covid care can face up to 2 years in jail or a maximum fine of 40,000 baht.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Economy

Thailand Consumer Confidence Index hits record low

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Thailand's Consumer Confidence index slips again to below the pre-pandemic record. (via CNN)

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce has reported that the Consumer Confidence Index has hit another new record low of 46.0 in April. The Covid-19 global pandemic has had a devastating effect on the economy and consumer confidence has fallen frequently to the lowest points that it has seen since 1998.

The president of the UTTC believes that consumers generally don’t feel like there has been much of a recovery for the economy since the global pandemic began and without a stimulating event to motivate economic growth, the index is expected to continue to fall further. The university estimated that if the third wave of Covid-19 continues past the end of May the economy can expect to lose 400 to 600 billion baht.

The UTTC president stressed that the government should hasten to step up relief measures and make sure they continue relief and economic stimulus throughout the pandemic to avoid economic catastrophe. He predicted that the economy and the Consumer Confidence Index will continue on a downward slope without any hope of improvement until the vaccine rollout gets well underway towards herd immunity, and new Covid-19 infections are decreased dramatically.

Today saw another 2,101 new Covid-19 infections and 17 deaths in Thailand. Vaccination efforts are continually being stepped up, but still remain woefully slow.

The Consumer Confidence Index first started falling last year, with a drop below the previous record low in 1998 in April of 2020, when it fell to 47.2. A few months later, by July of last year, it had recovered significantly, climbing back over 50. But by March of this year, the index had fallen again to 48.5. With April’s tumble of 2.5 points, the Consumer Confidence Index pushes once again to a new record low.

SOURCE: Thai Business News

 

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Economy

Stimulus package gives more back the more you spend

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A new stimulus package aims to get the middle class spending. (via Flickr - Marco Verch)

A new stimulus package targeting middle and high-income people aims at increasing spending by offering more e-voucher the more you spend. Ying Chai Ying Dai, which translates to “the more you spend the more you get”, will reward those who spend between 46,000 and 70,000 baht with a 7,000 baht e-voucher. This part of the government’s 225 billion baht stimulus package hopes to encourage 4 million qualifying middle- to upper-class people to spend more money by refunding 10-15% back, according to the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office.

People wishing to participate must register and make their purchases through a government e-wallet system. The system works by refunding 10 to 15% of purchases with a maximum of 7,000 baht. So at 15%, a person who spent 46,000 baht would receive back the full 7,000. On the 10% scheme, 70,000 baht in spending would be necessary to reach 7,000 cashback. No details were available on what determines the percentage level.

An additional 2,000 baht will be available for people participating in the “Section 33 Rao Rak Kan” and “Rao Chana” scheme. The plans are expected to push 85.5 billion Baht back into the economy as recipients must spend the cash by the end of June.

The 50/50 stimulus program that has been popular with the government covering half of what people spend for half for food, drink, and other items up to 150 baht per person per day will also be expanded. That plan began on October 23, and ended at the end of 2020, covering 10 million people with each receiving 3000 baht. The second phase of the popular program added 5 million more people and raised the limit to 3,500 baht per person.

A third phase of the “Khon La Khrueng” stimulus plan is expected to begin in July with participants getting a maximum of 3,500 baht each to spend, and opening the program to 16 million new people. This massive expansion though will stipulate that anyone participating in this program cannot also participate in the Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme.

All of these cash and voucher benefits aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, along with cash handouts for people who have state welfare cards, are part of 245 billion baht the government is spending in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. This falls under an emergency loan decree allocating the government 1 trillion baht total to cope with Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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