Connect with us

Thailand

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

Thaiger

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

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Disease control amendment in the works; reopening delays | September 22

South14 hours ago

5 billion baht loss as birds’ nest producing swiftlets found dead

Crime15 hours ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Sponsored15 hours ago

HOMA is now offering fully-serviced, affordable lifestyle apartments in Phuket Town.

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand15 hours ago

5 Pattani men arrested for allegedly posing as police officers to extort locals

World15 hours ago

Thai woman tricked into human trafficking in Dubai brought home safely

Phuket16 hours ago

Alleged cable thief busted in Phuket, accomplice possibly still at large

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand16 hours ago

Thaiger Bites | Your Feedback and Comments! | Ep. 23

Guides17 hours ago

Bangkok’s best fresh markets to visit

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 11,252 new cases; provincial totals

World17 hours ago

Tesla stock dive costs Elon Musk $7 billion, World’s Richest Man title

Kanchanaburi17 hours ago

Kanchanaburi temple that served as a rehab closes amidst shocking abuse allegations

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Post-Covid condition MIS-C afflicted 30 to 40 children, 1 death

Thailand18 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | New disease control law, Thai border patrol tightens security | September 22 |

Thailand19 hours ago

Manhunt underway for foreigner who allegedly prepared bread using his feet

Phuket19 hours ago

Burmese man arrested for rape and assault of Thai woman

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Trending