Connect with us

Tourism

Bank of Thailand issues stark warning over ongoing ban on foreign tourists

Maya Taylor

Published 

 on 

Bank of Thailand issues stark warning over ongoing ban on foreign tourists | Thaiger
PHOTO: Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

The Bank of Thailand has issued a sombre warning that the ongoing ban on foreign tourists returning to Thailand may have an even worse impact next year. Don Nakornthab, from the BOT’s economic and policy department, says if international tourists are not allowed back into the country soon, Thailand’s tourism industry will face even bigger threats next year.

A report in the Bangkok Post says both the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the National Economic and Social Development Council have already reduced their forecasts of foreign tourists this year to 6.7 million (the vast majority of that number arriving in Q1, 2020) and 12 million for 2021. To put that in context, in 2019, Thailand welcomed nearly 40 million international tourists, with the resulting revenue accounting for nearly 20% of the total Thai GDP.

The month of July was the fourth consecutive month in which Thailand received no foreign tourists. The borders remain largely sealed, while discussions about how to open safely continue. Having successfully suppressed Covid-19, the government appears very wary of opening back up too quickly, potentially inviting a resurgence of the virus. There has been a number of ‘plans’ and ‘models’ announced but there has been no confirmation that any of these are definitely being implemented.

But Don says it’s imperative officials take steps now to re-ignite international tourism and begin repairing the devastated economy.

“If foreign travellers still cannot visit the country, this will impact Thailand’s economic growth more severely next year. The government should strike a balance between tourism measures and outbreak containment.”

The BOT concedes that the possibility of a second wave cannot be ruled out, as shown by places like Hong Kong and Singapore. However, Don maintains that a rate of 20 to 30 new cases a day is probably manageable.

Meanwhile, a further relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions during the month of July has caused a slight improvement in the economy, due to increased public spending. Exports shrank by nearly 12% compared to the same time last year, but this was less than the nearly 25% contraction seen in June. But, while employment figures have improved slightly, due to a reduction in the number of employees affected by the temporary closure of their place of work, the overall picture remains bleak.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    William Binn

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Thailand faces a grim choice, it can have tourism with widespread covid or it can stay closed up, but it can not have tourism without covid spreading through the country, there is no middle ground. All the data available from other countries shows this to be the case.

    Its second delema is that Thailand has traditional multi generational households (generally 3 generations) and if covid gets into the broader community it will pose a massive threat as it will be impossible to isolate the elderly/vulnerable, from the younger generations that will predomanently remain asymtomatic and spread the virus unknowningly.

    The third delema is in the Govts refusal to look at the real facts about its GDP and economy. The “tourism” industry is not about how many fatang pass through an airport, its about how much money is spent in the wider community and where its spent. They may choose to look strictly at the formal sector and survey the 5 star hotels to make their assumption of a 15-19% GDP number, but in reality there is a massive informal tourist economy that effects tens of millions of Thai people and business’s. This is not the tshirt seller, this is flow on economy from the million or more bar ladies. They all purchase food from the street venders, get their clothes laundered, rent rooms, pay bills, and send the bulk of their income home to support an extended family, not to memtion all the “boyfriends” remitences from overseas. In the great fight to save face the Govt has refused to acknowledge their existance and include them in any type of covid fimancial aid, and that doesnt just effect the lady but her whole extended family. The ripple effect from this is being felt far and wide. One room is now occupied by 4 ladies and 3 rooms are vacant. The payments on motorbike loans are not paid. Mama noodles are the economic choice and the bbq cart is struggling, as is the chicken farmer, and the chicken feed producers. The realestate financial problems are coming as these same ladies are no longer able to service their bank debts for land and house building.

    The catch 22 is unfathomable, the reality is hard to face and it is a guarenteed loser at the next election regardless of the choice made, but delaying the choice is not going to work for long either.

    The only thing that is certain is that the Phucket quaratine bubble will not work in its proposed form due to the charactorists of this virus. You either need to isolate each and every guest from the other guests for 14 days or you will have an outbreak. The minute you have an outbreak the staff will try to flee due to the superstition and fear that has been built up (needlessly) about the virus. Those fleeing staff will spread it as the go and the whole 6 month quarantine/lockdowns/restrictions will have been for naught, and then they will start again destroying what is left of the economy.

    I do not envy the choices to come, but the true science needs to be used or thousands will die needlessly, my family may even be among those numbers.

    Perhaps the “ministers” should get some plain clothes and go hang out at the bars in Pattaya (and other places) buy the ladies some drinks and ask questions, they will be only to happy to fill you in on what is really going on below the shiny surface that is the highclass hotel bars of Bangkok. Heck, im happy to introduce you and get the conversation started if you like.

    WB

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks for your well-considered comment. We’ve published it separately. TT

    • Avatar

      Petecool

      Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      Make sense mate.In actual covit wont kill them economy will.Let see how tough they are.Money or covit.

    • Avatar

      Stephen Westrip

      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 7:13 pm

      It is not tourism that will bring widespread COVID, at least not entirely. It has been seen in many countries that as soon as you allow people to travel around the country, open up peoples homes to visitors, etc. that is what raises the infection rate. Letting in tourists that have tested negative will NOT increase the infection rate – how could it? The only way the infection rate can increase within a country is through lack of widespread testing and therefore the lack of knowledge as to where the local hotspots may be. I feel that it is in this specific area that Thailand is lacking.

  2. Avatar

    Bobby m

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    At least somebody at the bank of Thailand understands.

    “ But Don says it’s imperative officials take steps now to re-ignite international tourism and begin repairing the devastated economy.

    “If foreign travellers still cannot visit the country, this will impact Thailand’s economic growth more severely next year. The government should strike a balance between tourism measures and outbreak containment.”

    Now all he needs to do is (if you will forgive the pun) is get the penny to drop with the government.

  3. Avatar

    Anh Lam

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    The banks should have no say in opening or keeoing borfers closed. As the Bank of Thailand official states, ITS ALL ABIUT MONEY! Money money money… Does not mater about people health to him or anyome attached to the TOT ministry.. One needs to look at the daily infection rates brought in by local people as well as folks from countries with high infection rates. Who is paying for their treatments and testing? Look whats happening in Vietnam, Aruba, Hong Kong, indonesia and the rest of the high rate countries. Its all about money. Im all for the grass root thai people, affraid of the 2nd Wave, keep the door shut! People will survive! For all the foreign tourists already here, folliw the Socilal Distancing Rules and wear your mask on your face and not on your chin. Stop Jabbet Jawing when i approach you to make you aware of such ignorance.. Your country may have high infection rates, dont come here and spread the virus.

    • Avatar

      Khaja Sarfaraj Mansur

      Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 9:45 pm

      ‘afraid of the 2nd Wave’!!!!!! ”keep the door shut! People will survive!” ”don’t come here and spread the virus.” !!!!!!!
      ……………….x…………………

      Well I have some questions for you…..

      *How long you will keep the door shut? Is that the only solution to contain Covid-19?

      *How long you can keep 0 virus? How much logical is this to close border and destroy whole economy to keep 0 virus, where it can come into your country from other sources.

      *Are you waiting for effective vaccine? You really think Vaccine is the solution? Because still there is no effective vaccine. When you think, Whole Thai population can be vaccinated? How long you should wait for this? Can Thailand Economy sustain that Long?

      *20% GDP(Actual number surly is far more) dependent on Tourism, Can really Thailand afford to shut it’s border like other countries do?

      *Are you certain about the severity of this virus in recent time? Are you sure it remains as deadly as it used to be in earlier Months? No one knows actual covid cases, as most of the country don’t have enough testing capacity. So it is obvious that actual death rate is far far less.

      Every country on this earth have to learn to live with Corona Virus.

      • Avatar

        Steve

        Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:11 pm

        Yes, how long to you strangle the economy to death because of irrational fears of a disease with an infection fatality ratio of less than 1%? Especially when scientific evidence is pointing to the real possibility that 40-60% of the population is immune.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    The government do not care – they are collecting their money, and have effectively banned elections.
    It is up to the citizens of Thailand to force them out of office. and install a new government that will remedy the present economic disaster.

  5. Avatar

    Michael

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    It‘s a fact, that Thailand let in everyone the first three months of this year, when the pandemic was in full flow already. And yet the numbers of infections and deaths were very low.

    What is the explanations for that? And why are so-called expert still telling, that Thailand can‘t handle tourism. It handled tourism three months during the pandemic without any regulations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



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

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Pattaya

Unemployed elephants walk 500 kilometres from Pattaya to Surin

Avatar

Published

on

Unemployed elephants walk 500 kilometres from Pattaya to Surin | Thaiger
PHOTO: Elephants walking down the road because their car is in the shop.

A group of 5 elephants and their owners began the long walk today from Pattaya to Surin after giving up on the return of tourism anytime soon. The 500 kilometre journey has to be done on foot as they couldn’t afford to hire trucks large enough to carry each elephant.

After waiting a year for the Chinese tourists that make up a majority of their customer base to return, the families decided to embark on the long journey with the 5 elephants to their home in the northeastern province of Surin. As they walk they’re protected on both sides by pickup trucks to keep them safe from cars.

5 years ago Napalai Mai-ngam came with her relatives to work in an elephant resort in Tambon Lam Huay Yai of Bang Lamung near Pattaya with their 5 elephants. They told the Bangkok Post that their earned a good living, about 75,000 baht (15,000 per elephant) plus tips from the tourists to ride elephants on nature trails, each month.

But with the borders closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic the tourists from China who usually flocked to elephant activities, were stuck back in China and Napalai’s boss had to cut their pay. Even with vaccinations finally underway, tourists in numbers, enough to sustain activities like elephant camps, may not be back anytime soon. The families finally had to surrender to the reality and start the long walk home.

They avoid the blistering Thai sun by walking early mornings while the weather was still cool, and hope the roadways out of Pattaya would provide snacking opportunities for the elephants to graze. They expect the journey to take about 2 weeks. The families have turned down offers of cash donations for fear that their long walk will be viewed as a publicity stunt.

That said, the families have expressed gratitude to the locals in towns they pass who have donated drinking water, food and fruit to the entourage of people and elephants. If you would like to donate resources you can contact them on phone number 093 335 7062.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Economy

Southern Thai people turn from tourism to gold panning

Avatar

Published

on

Southern Thai people turn from tourism to gold panning | Thaiger
PHOTO: Traditional panning for gold replaces tourism for income in Southern Thailand

Thars gold in dem hills!

With tourism in Thailand struggling due to Covid-19, and an economy needing some help, some people in the southern Thai region of the country have found income in an unusual source: panning for gold. The Sukhirin region close to the Malaysian border is known for gold deposits in the Sai Buri River and surrounding mountains. Villagers who made money before with tourism have now returned to panning for gold using old-fashioned manual techniques their ancestors used, without the aid of any machinery. Well, just an old pan.

Locals had previously made money selling food to passing tourists or acting as a tour guide to take people around the area, where travellers seeking to get away from the crowded and overdeveloped tourist areas that attract the most foreigners find many unique activities. Kayaking was a popular local activity with up to 150 people a day sailing down the rivers that are now filled with locals panning for gold. The prospectors are now making their income from the gold they collect which sells for 1,500 baht per gram. Families that work together can often collect at least one gram a day.

Thai Gold prices have reached record highs over the last 2 years and many Thai people have traditionally used gold and gold jewellery as a form of savings and investment, pawning their gold rings and bracelets in times of financial emergencies. The gold collected from these Southern villages will be used to make jewellery in Bangkok.

The region had invested in expanding into ecotourism but the pandemic put all their construction plans on hold. A cable car was being built to transport people up to the tops of the mountains to beautiful temples. The area’s unique history attracted people to their annual Rocket Festival, typically a north-eastern celebration.

In 1932, France was granted a 25 year mining contract in the jungles. They extracted almost 2000 kg of gold before World War II forced closure. The mining tunnels still exist and sometimes attracted adventurous tourists, but now sit vacant aside from snakes. In the 1960s the Thai government incentivised northerners with 18 rai of land each to move to the region. As a result, the area stands out in the Muslim region with 90% of the population being Buddhist, and most still speaking Isan dialects.

SOURCE: France 24

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Economy

Thai baht performs worst of all Southeast Asian currencies

Avatar

Published

on

Thai baht performs worst of all Southeast Asian currencies | Thaiger
Photo by Peter Hellberg for flickr

Among common currencies in Southeast Asia, the Thai baht was the worst performing in the first quarter of 2021, mostly due to Covid-19’s effect on tourism in Thailand.

This week the baht hit its lowest point in half a year, falling 4% against the US dollar to 31.24. The decline was the sharpest in all of the Southeast Asian nations. The Indonesian rupiah fell 3.4% and the Malaysian ringgit fell 3.1%, while the Philippine peso and Singapore dollar dropped 1% and the Vietnamese dong basically held steady. Kyats, the Burmese currency did plummet further, 5.6%, following the military coup in Myanmar on February 1, but it’s not considered a common currency.

Thailand’s depreciation is heavily due to the economic downturn as a result of the pandemic which has all but killed Thailand’s tourist-heavy economy. With borders closed, the drop in foreign tourism pumping money into the economy has left a glaring hole. Before Covid-19, in the third quarter of 2019, Thailand held a surplus of US$11.5 billion baht. By the third quarter of 2020, the surplus had fallen to $6.6 billion, and by the end of the year, it had slid to a deficit of $1.4 billion.

Thailand had been bolstered by the surplus and by the constant influx of tourist spending supporting the economy. Tourism money fell to $742 million due to the pandemic border closure, just 5% of the equivalent period last year. The government is hoping to restart the tourism economy and pump more Thai baht into the country with a variety of actions to shorten quarantine, reopen key tourist locations like Phuket, and eventually allow in vaccinated travellers without any quarantine.

Many are still unsure of Thailand’s stability, with investors, importers and exporters still having doubts. The Finance Minister believes there’s no need to panic, as he was expecting a backlash when the Thai baht hit a 7 year high. They have acted by increasing investment limits to US$5 million for Thais to buy foreign securities, up from US$200,000 and loosened restrictions on foreign currency deposits.

SOURCE: Nikkei Asia

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger
Chiang Mai20 hours ago

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Thai Airways cuts another 4,250 staff, offering them early retirement | Thaiger
Transport22 hours ago

Thai Airways cuts another 4,250 staff, offering them early retirement

Thailand News Today | Bangkok nightspot Covid clusters, Tesco/CP merger goes to court | April 5 | Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok nightspot Covid clusters, Tesco/CP merger goes to court | April 5

10 rebel groups in Myanmar throw their support behind anti-coup protesters | VIDEO | Thaiger
Myanmar7 days ago

10 rebel groups in Myanmar throw their support behind anti-coup protesters | VIDEO

Firefighters’ bodies retrieved, 100,000 baht to families | Thaiger
Hot News7 days ago

Firefighters’ bodies retrieved, 100,000 baht to families

Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay | Thaiger
Crime3 days ago

Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay

Weekend party event in Phuket reports positive Covid attendee | Thaiger
Events5 days ago

Weekend party event in Phuket reports positive Covid attendee

Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan | Thaiger
Business5 days ago

Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan

Police chief orders staff to work from home after 42 officers test positive | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Police chief orders staff to work from home after 42 officers test positive

Nightlife shut down in 3 Bangkok districts following rise in Covid numbers | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

Nightlife shut down in 3 Bangkok districts following rise in Covid numbers

Some Bangkok international schools close following rise of Covid-19 cases in the area | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Some Bangkok international schools close following rise of Covid-19 cases in the area

Thailand allows entry to 11 groups of travellers, cuts quarantine down for those vaccinated | Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand allows entry to 11 groups of travellers, cuts quarantine down for those vaccinated

Leading Thai virologist warns of third wave, says herd immunity will take 2 years at current vaccination rate | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 days ago

Leading Thai virologist warns of third wave, says herd immunity will take 2 years at current vaccination rate

Bangkok prepares to open field hospital as officials warn of a rapid rise in infections | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 days ago

Bangkok prepares to open field hospital as officials warn of a rapid rise in infections

CCSA Update: 194 new Covid-19 cases, outbreak at Narathiwat prison | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

CCSA Update: 194 new Covid-19 cases, outbreak at Narathiwat prison

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism1 month ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending