Thailand cuts foreign tourist prediction for 2019 hinh anh 1The crystal-clear water of the sea off the coast of Phuket Island, a popular tourist destination in Thailand (Photo: Thai Foreign Ministry)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thailand has revised the number of foreign tourists it expects to welcome this year down from 40.1 million to 39.7 million, citing impact of the global economic slowdown and the stronger baht.

President of the Tourism Council of Thailand Chairat Trirattanajarasporn said the sector is still being affected by the US-China trade war and the baht’s appreciation, which have deterred foreigners from visiting the country.

However, he noted the Thai government’s tourism stimulus plans are likely to improve the situation.

In addition to domestic tourism, the council and public sector are focusing on short-haul markets like ASEAN, China and India to maintain tourism momentum this year.

For the last quarter of 2019, the council projects 10.4 million foreign arrivals, up 7.21 percent from the same period last year. Of the visitors, some 2.67 million are expected from China, up 23.4 percent year on year, bringing the total number to 11.2 million this year.

In the first eight months of 2019, Thailand received about 26.56 million foreign visitors, up 2.83 percent year on year, and gained 1.29 trillion baht (42.1 billion USD) in tourism revenue, up 2.91 percent, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

Tourism accounts for some 20 percent of the Thai economy./.