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Global economics report expects Bangkok to have the highest tourist drop



PHOTO: Unsplash: Florian Wehde
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International travel restrictions have crippled Thailand’s tourism industry so much that Bangkok might end up with the highest loss of tourists out of all the major cities in the world. A report from the global forecasting company Oxford Economics predicts Bangkok will lose about 14.5 million incoming foreign tourists by the end of the year.

Cities across the world are experiencing a drop in tourism, but Oxford Economics says Bangkok will be hit the hardest. The reports says that demand won’t even get back up its 2019 high until at least 2024. The demand for international travel to Bangkok will drop to 57% compared to last year’s numbers, according to the report. Bangkok makes up almost 2/3 of all the tourist arrivals, and consequently the losses, in Thailand.

Strict international travel restrictions and a mandated 14 day quarantine are contributing to the drastic drop in tourists. Along with Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya are in the top 20 most visited ‘cities’ or destinations in the world. The report says they expect significant damage to the local economies. The cities are already reporting damage done… Pattaya’s Walking Street has taken a major hit. Some businesses closed. The businesses that have stayed open say they need tourists, desperately.

On the flip side, domestic tourism is expected to increase, according to the report. Some tourist businesses in Thailand have changed their marketing strategy, focusing on a local Thai customer base rather than marketing to foreign tourists.

For now, the Thai government is keeping general international tourist traffic out of the country as they work on new visa types and develop pilot programs for restricted re-opening of the borders to tourism.

A report from the Krungthai COMPASS Research Centre says the percentage of Thai tourists increased was 36% before the pandemic and it has now increased to 70%, on the back of government domestic travel stimulus packages.

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, according to the centre. They say it’s going to be at least 3 to 4 years until revenue is back to normal.

SOURCE: Pattaya News


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  1. Mikhael

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 10:28 am

    They predicted this back in April and Thailand will have the biggest drop in GDP amongst all ASEAN countries. Why is this news?

  2. murika

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 10:39 am

    3.02 Trillions minus 70 % is 906 Billions and not 9.1 Billions, it’s fun to see that every thai news website that post that info are reporting the wrong numbers, like they just copy paste without even reading it

    • Rinky Stingpiece

      Monday, September 14, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      How sure are you that any of the numbers are anywhere near correct if the mathematics is that ropey?

  3. Pete

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I will never come back with quarantine on arrival !

  4. Patrick Nouvel

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Any how just just a fake undetailed report. Shame to read few closing in Pattaya, they dont know how to write huge closing forever? Pukhet & Samui, surely Chiangmai too, not ready yet to lose face?

  5. Maverick

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    2-3 years to return to normal is optimistic to say the least – they are assuming there will be a pent up demand to travel – the kind of deals on airfares available pre-Covid simply won’t be there so long distance travel will be out of the reach for most travelers for many years to come – local and domestic travel will be the norm for the foreseeable future – best Thailand starts to prepare for that.

    • Peter

      Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      There will be no pent up demand, plenty of people will want to come here for sure but because you miss your holiday one year, it’s not logical to expect them to have 2 holidays the following year, I doubt the figures will match previous years, many will not have the money after having endured a year of recession.

  6. Jason

    Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Some things are missing in your article and the comments so far. Firstly, there are prospective travellers out there, like me, who had to cancel their trip to Thailand, because of Covid and Thailand’s closure of it’s borders. I have flight credit with my airline and have funds set aside for the trip which I am holding, waiting for Thailand to get it’s act together and open the border. Not only that, but the UK has developed a Covid Test that is 99.8% accurate, is a saliva test and gives a result in 20 seconds. It is now before the UK’s health authorities for approval. Australia has already brokered the rights for production and distribution in Asia/Pacific. Until a vaccine is developed, rapid testing will enable movement of peoples again. I’m surprised Thailand hasn’t reported on it??? I guess you will be left behind.

  7. ron

    Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 8:26 am

    open up the world this covid has killed very few people who weren’t already very sick. You are so dumb

    • Peter

      Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 4:55 pm

      There are more than a million who would challenge your stupid statement if the could, they can’t because they are DEAD. Don’t forget, that’s from a standing start in 9 months and it’s not over yet.

  8. Samielo

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    With the immense racism of many in the Thai immigration police this isn’t surprising me at all; Covid-19 and strong Baht are not equal to that immense racism in preventing many people from returning to Thailand for a LONG time.

    • J.C.

      Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 8:23 am

      > B-but muh racism!!

      Take your meds.

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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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