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

Caitlin Ashworth



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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  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


    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


      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


      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


      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


    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11:40 am

    why my comment not appear ?

  6. Avatar


    Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    good news

  7. Avatar


    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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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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