Connect with us

Thailand

Thai baht goes from top-performing to worst-hit currency in Asia

Published

 on 

Photo via flickr

Before the pandemic, the Thai baht was the strongest-performing currency in Asia. Now, it’s the worst-hit currency in the region, according to Japan-based Mizuho Bank. The Thai economy has been shrinking over the past year, hitting lows which some compare to the contraction during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The Japanese bank says the under-performance of the Thai baht is “uncharacteristic” and renders it “the worst performer to date in 2021.”

The financial analysis platform Refinitiv Eikon also found the Thai baht to be the weakest-performing currency in the Asia Pacific region. As of this morning, the Thai baht had dropped more than 10% against the US dollar year-to-date, according to data from the company. Against the US dollar, the Japanese yen dropped by almost 7% and the Malaysian ringgit declined by 5%.

For Thailand, which relies heavily on tourism, the lack of international arrivals due to travel restrictions multiplied the “Covid devastation” on the economy, according to the bank’s head of economics and strategy, Vishnu Varathan. As of this May, Thailand only had 34,000 tourist arrivals. Before the pandemic in 2019, the country welcomed around 40 million tourists.

“The sheer force of this ‘tourism multiplier’ means that it remains the decisive drag on THB… Further ‘variant risks’ and attendant rolling delays to tourism/travel resumption will continue to pose a clear and present threat to the THB.”

Over the past year, Thai authorities have made attempts to reboot tourism after the halt on international arrivals. The Special Tourist Visa scheme, offering a 90-day visa that could be extended twice, allowing an up to 9-month stay, was started as an effort to draw visitors to Thailand during the pandemic. The catch… tourists still had to undergo quarantine and the thought of 14 days in isolation before a holiday drove away many potential visitors.

To draw in more tourists, Thai authorities decided to come up with travel schemes without a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Thailand recently launched the “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” reopening schemes, allowing travellers who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the islands without undergoing quarantine.

Priority was given to Phuket and Samui during the first phases of the vaccination campaign, as the tourist destinations were said to be of “economic significance,” and health officials accelerated the rollout of vaccines to inoculate at least 70% of the populations with their first dose in time for the reopening.

But as the islands reopen, Thailand is grappling with its most severe wave of Covid-19 and the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Since July 1, only around 10,800 people have arrived in Phuket. And since Koh Samui’s reopening on July 15, just 35 people from overseas have arrived.

SOURCE: CNBC

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand10 hours ago

Cabinet seems to have ignored 4am nightlife proposal

Video11 hours ago

THAILAND NEWS TODAY | Korean woman arrested for 5-million-baht theft, 6-year overstay

Crime11 hours ago

Tuhao’s Chinese gang buys 50 homes in Bangkok luxury village with cash

Sponsored12 hours ago

Krungthong Plaza offers endless choices of well-selected plus-size fashion products

Road deaths11 hours ago

Bus flipped in Tak injuring 44 Burmese workers, killing 3

Thailand11 hours ago

3 men were arrested for stealing Thai Internet connection & World Cup betting in Cambodia

Pattaya11 hours ago

Intoxicated Pattaya woman left uninjured after overturning car

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime12 hours ago

Woman who allegedly scammed victims for over 30 million baht arrested in Pattaya

Bangkok12 hours ago

Bangkok BTS Skytrain fares to increase next year

Thailand12 hours ago

Police put brakes on car rental thief in Bangkok

World13 hours ago

New drug marks major milestone in slowing Alzhemier’s

World Cup13 hours ago

400 to 500 migrant workers in Qatar died due to World Cup, not 6,500

Visa14 hours ago

Thailand advises Indians to obtain visa prior to travelling to avoid long queues

Thailand14 hours ago

Driver furious with Bangkok shopping mall after foreigner accidently causes damage to her car

Politics14 hours ago

Iran promises Thailand it won’t attack Israeli tourists

Crime15 hours ago

Korean woman arrested for 5 million baht theft, 6-year overstay

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending