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Tourism Trauma and COVID-19

Costa Rica, Greece, Morocco, Portugal, and Thailand could be among the hardest hit with losses in tourism proceeds exceeding 3 percent of GDP, according to the IMF’s recently released 2020 External Sector Report.

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A deserted taxi station at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi international airport

Pandemic-related lockdowns, flight cancellations, and border closures may be putting a crimp on summer vacation plans. However, the precipitous drop in tourism will have an outsized impact on countries that rely on foreign travelers—with potentially large-scale effects on their economies’ national accounts.

Costa Rica, Greece, Morocco, Portugal, and Thailand could be among the hardest hit with losses in tourism proceeds exceeding 3 percent of GDP, according to the IMF’s recently released 2020 External Sector Report.

The chart calculates direct tourism impacts on imports, exports, and current account balances under a scenario that envisions gradual reopenings in September, but a drop of about 70 percent in tourism receipts and international tourism arrivals in 2020.

A country’s current account balance is a measure of its total transactions—which includes but is not limited to trade in goods and services—with the rest of the world. For some economies, a drop in tourism (which is considered an export) could have an impact on overall current account balances.

For example, in Thailand, a decrease in tourism due to COVID-19 could bring the country’s overall exports down by 8 percentage points of GDP and have a direct net impact of about 6 percentage points of GDP on its current account balance in 2020. That could erode part of the 7 percent overall current account surplus the country had in 2019.

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Tourism

Adjustments in Thailand’s tourism industry

Thailand, especially the tourism and hospitality industry, have made various adjustments to prepare to welcome travellers again when the country is fully open.

Tourism Authority of Thailand

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Due to the COVID-19, businesses in Thailand, especially the tourism and hospitality industry, have made various adjustments to make it through this situation to prepare to welcome travellers again when the country is fully open.  

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Thai government may subsidise an unlimited domestic air pass

The government looks to offer a subsidy for an unlimited travel pass to people who buy domestic air tickets in advance to help struggling airlines in Thailand.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government looks to offer a subsidy for an unlimited travel pass to people who buy domestic air tickets in advance to help struggling airlines in Thailand.

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COVID-19 situation in Thailand as of 21 February 2021

Tourism Authority of Thailand

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• 150 new cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were announced by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand bringing the total number of cases to date to 25,111.
No new deaths were reported today.

• Of the cases reported in Thailand, 95.4% (23,946) have recovered, 0.3% (82) have died, and 4.3% (1,083) are receiving treatment or are in isolation (870 are in conventional hospitals and 213 in field hospitals).

• The laboratory-confirmed cases reported today include

8 individuals who arrived recently in Thailand and were diagnosed in quarantine facilities.

38 cases detected through the routine surveillance system linked to occupational risk, visiting crowded places or contact with confirmed cases in Samut Sakhon (19 Thais, 7 Burmese), Bangkok (5 Thais), Pathum Thani (3 Burmese), Maha Sarakham (1 Thai), Ayutthaya (1 Burmese), Tak (1 Thai), and Nakhon Pathom (1 Thai).

104 cases identified through active case finding in Pathum Thani (17 Thais, 24 Burmese, 1 Laotian) and Samut Sakhon (2 Thais, 60 Burmese).

• Of 142 cases acquired in Thailand, 62% were detected in Samut Sakhon, 4% in Bangkok and 35% in other provinces.

• During the new wave (between 15 December 2020 and 18 February 2021), 20,874 confirmed cases have been reported, of which 5,727 were detected through the routine surveillance system, 14,256 through active case finding and 891 are in individuals who entered Thailand, detected through screening in quarantine. At present, 19,769 have recovered, 1,083 are receiving treatment, and 22 have died.

• Confirmed cases in the new wave in Thailand have been reported in 63 provinces.

The post Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand as of 21 February 2021, 11.30 Hrs. appeared first on TAT Newsroom.

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