Foreign tourist arrivals hit a record 39.8 million last year after a rise of 7% to 38.2 million in 2018, but the 41 million target set by the TAT may be difficult to reach as mainland China tours are now prohibited from selling trips abroad.
If the virus outbreak persists for much longer, its impact on Thailand’s tourism industry could be substantial.
The Thai government is targeting 41.8 million tourists in 2020 with estimated revenue of Bt2.2 trillion, which would make Thailand one of the top six countries in terms of income from tourism.
50 to 100 billion baht loss
But the coronavirus crisis is likely to cost Thailand at least 50 billion baht in lost tourism income associated with China’s blanket ban on tourists leaving its affected cities, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand.
The estimated losses are based on average spending of 50,000 baht per Chinese tourist visiting Thailand, council chairman Chairat Trairattancharatphon said, and a dip of 1 million Chinese visitors.
But other estimates of the impact on tourism and related businesses in Thailand and other Asian nations are around Bt80 billion to Bt100 billion, if the spread of the virus is contained by early March, Anusorn Tamajai, director of Economic and Business Research Centre at Rangsit University, said to The Nation
Tourist revenue had risen 3% to 1.93 trillion baht ($63.49 billion) in 2019, and Visitors from China are Thailand’s biggest source of tourists and receipts, increased by 4.4% to 10.99 million in 2019.
Tourist receipts account for about 12 percent of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, making it one of the most important drivers of growth estimated at 2,5% in 2019.
Chinese holidaymakers spent almost $18 billion in Thailand last year, more than a quarter of all foreign tourism receipts, government data show. The industry as a whole contributes 21% to gross domestic product, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. according to the Bangkok Post.
Thailand faces zero tourists, zero revenue situation
Thailand has effectively closed its doors to non-resident foreigners under a state of emergency that came into force on Thursday (March 26), bringing down tourist entries close to nil.
Emirates suspends all passenger operations
Emirates retains cargo operations, but temporarily suspends passenger operations by 25 March
- Emirates retains cargo operations, but temporarily suspends passenger operations by 25 March
- dnata significantly reduces operations, including temporary closure of operations at some international locations where demand is low
- Group implements basic salary reduction for majority of employees for three months, will not cut jobs
- Supports government measures to safeguard community health
COVID-19 could cut 30 million jobs in the tourism industry in Asia
The coronavirus epidemic is putting up to 50 million jobs in the global travel and tourism sector at risk, with travel likely to slump by a quarter this year, Asia being the most affected continent
- The World Travel and Tourism Council has warned the COVID-19 pandemic could cut 50 million jobs worldwide in the travel and tourism industry.
- Asia is expected to be the worst affected.
- Once the outbreak is over, it could take up to 10 months for the industry to recover.
- The tourism industry currently accounts for 10% of global GDP.
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