Thailand: COVID-19 may cost tourism sector 47 billion USD hinh anh 1In Phuket, Thailand (Photo: Reuters)

Bangkok (VNA)
– Thailand’s tourism sector would lose 47 billion USD due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The country’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports said Thailand may receive only 9 million international visitors this year, compared to the record 39.8 million in 2019. Plummeting revenues from tourism is also a reason for the Bank of Thailand (BoT) to forecast a minus 8 percent growth for the country in 2020.

The tourism sector has drafted a travel bubble plan for foreign travellers to make up for the losses. The three-phase plan is slated to start in August, with 1,000 tourists per day across five provinces.

Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the ministry already asked the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) and the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) to design 6-7 day tour packages in five areas that are ready to join the pilot project, comprising Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Pattaya.

On June 30, the Thai cabinet approved two stimulus packages worth 22.4 billion THB (723 million USD) to revitalise domestic tourism.

In the first five months of this year, the total number of domestic flights in Thailand dropped 58.2 percent, reaching 40.2 million trips, with revenues falling 57.9 percent to 191 billion THB.

Data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) showed that international arrivals to the country plunged 60 percent in the period to 6.69 million and revenues from them decreased 59.6 percent to 332 billion THB./.