Thailand hopeful for tourism-led recovery hinh anh 1Tourists in Bangkok Thailand on November 2 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand’s economy contracted 0.3 percent year on year in the third quarter with hopes for a gradual tourism-led recovery, announced the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) on November 15.

The measures to control the COVID-19 outbreak affected the economic activities, said Danucha Pichayana, secretary-general of the board of the NESDC, on the day during a press conference.

A coronavirus outbreak in April this year saw the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant, which led to re-imposing tough restrictions on services and restaurants. According to NESDC data, the food service and accommodation sector shrank 18.6 percent on July-September. Pandemic travel restrictions sent Thailand's visitor numbers plummeting from 40 million in 2019 to just 73,000 in the first eight months of 2021.

The relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, along with a gradual return of vaccinated foreign tourists since November 1, makes Thai officials hopeful for growth of 1.2 percent this year.

The country also expects five million tourists to return next year, bringing revenues of up to 440 billion THB (13.4 billion USD), said the NESDC.

Danucha said the growth forecast for 2022 is between 3.5 and 4.5 percent as Thailand slowly recovers from the pandemic.

As of November 15, Thailand has recorded more than 2 million infections and over 20,000 deaths from COVID-19./.