Thailand’s tourism copes with surging baht headache

PHOTO: Thailand’s new tourism & sports minister, Piphat Ratchakitprakarn, hoping the finance ministry will listen to his pleas about the high baht

Thailand’s new tourism & sports minister, Piphat Ratchakitprakarn, is blaming the surge of the baht for sucking the life out of tourist arrivals into Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

Piphat yesterday said he’ll discuss with the Bank of Thailand and the finance minister what can be done to help support the industry.

Bloomberg report that Thailand’s currency is among the strongest in emerging markets over the past 12 months. The central bank says it’s “concerned about the advance” and the Bank’s Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob says they are actively tracking the currency’s movements closely and are prepared to act.

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Thailand's tourism copes with surging baht headache | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: Tourism and sports ministry

The tourism minister says that most tourists are surprised when they arrive in Thailand because their currencies don’t buy as much baht as it used to.

“Tourism is considered to be one of our country’s main revenue drivers. I will do everything I can to make sure that arrivals increase and more revenue is generated than before.”

Tourism is a vital slice of the economic pie and accounts for nearly a fifth of gross domestic product when all downstream advantages of tourism are measured. Arrivals in June fell to 2.9 million from 3.03 million a year earlier.

Piphat also mentioned in his first meeting with the media that he intended to tackle tourist concerns about safety, and to promote the industry across the entire nation, not just the traditional tourist hot spots.

“We must encourage tourism in all 77 provinces.”

SOURCE: Bloomberg – Natnicha Chuwiruch

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