According to the news in Reuters, Thailand, where the number of cases has increased due to a new corona virus wave, will not be able to meet the targets it has set for tourism this summer. Southeast Asia, where tourism is of great importance in its economy, also faces the danger of political instability.
60 BILLION DOLLAR REVENUE FROM TOURISM IN 2019
Thailand’s magnificent beaches, spicy food, and dazzling temples constantly attracted foreign tourists before the pandemic. The country generated $ 60 billion from international tourism revenues in 2019. Each foreign tourist spent an average of $ 1,2020 per person in Thailand, making the country one of the most profitable travel destinations in the world. In addition, World Bank data show that the total contribution of tourism to Thailand’s GDP in 2018 was $ 100 billion.
ONLY 1 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION IS COMPLETELY EXCEEDED
However, Thailand’s hope of a sharp recovery in tourism has now been thrown off. Covid-19 cases in the country began to increase around the same time as in India, and showed a similar rate of increase. The government, led by former general Prayuth Chan-ocha, could not provide enough vaccines. According to an Oxford University study, there are fewer vaccines per capita in Thailand than in Myanmar or Laos.
RISKING BORDERS Reopening
However, Reuters estimates that only 1 percent of the population in Thailand is fully vaccinated. This makes it almost impossible for Bangkok to create travel balloons, especially in markets such as China, where vaccination is slow, and makes authorities wary of reopening the borders.
GROWTH FORECASTS FALL
Its institutions in the country lowered the country’s 2021 GDP growth forecast from 2.8 percent to 2.3 percent. Thailand’s Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5 percent on Wednesday. On the other hand, exports of goods and services account for 60 percent of Thailand’s GDP, making it one of the most export-dependent economies in the world.
THE NUMBER OF UNQUALIFIED PERSONNEL IS LARGE DUE TO EMPLOYEES IN THE TOURISM
On the other hand, Thailand is already suffering from the “middle income trap” and signs of recession are on the rise. The poverty rate in the country has been increasing since 2015, according to World Bank data. Tourism eliminates such traps by creating jobs for low-skilled people, but does not develop their skills too much. Hotels, restaurants and massage parlors do not produce much innovation either. However, in Thailand, tourists also support the informal economy such as prostitution and narcotics.
The uncertainty over the future of the country’s tourism for all these reasons is putting pressure on the government to improve other parts of the economy, particularly the core electronics, automotive and healthcare sectors. At the base of the pro-democracy protest movement taking place in the country will be the struggle to attract foreign direct investment. However, waiting for foreign visitors to return is not an option.
CHINA HAS SET ITS GROWTH TARGET