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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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COVID-19 situation in Thailand as of 8 March 2021

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First group of foreign tourists completes 14-day Golf Quarantine in Thailand

Thailand’s golf quarantine was created in line with the government’s strict COVID-19 prevention and control measures that required golfers to follow a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) from the Thai Department of Health Service Support

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First group completes 14-day Golf Quarantine in Thailand

Bangkok, 07 March, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to report that the first group of 42 golfers (41 South Koreans and one Japanese) arrived in Thailand and entered golf quarantine on 19 February, 2021, have successfully completed their 14-day golf quarantine and have started their journey around the country from 6 March, 2021.

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Thailand sees gradual return of events and festivals

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update regarding the gradual return of events and festivals with strict COVID-19 safety and control measures, as the country rolls out its first inoculation programme.

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update regarding the gradual return of events and festivals with strict COVID-19 safety and control measures, as the country rolls out its first inoculation programme.

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