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

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.

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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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Caitlin Ashworth

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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