Thailand revises down growth outlook for 2021 hinh anh 1Thailand revises down growth outlook for 2021 (Photo:
Bangkok (VNA) - The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has reduced the country's GDP growth outlook for next year from 3.6 percent to 3.2 percent, mainly due to an anticipated delay in tourism recovery.

The reduction of 0.4 percentage points in the country’s GDP growth forecast was attributed to the impact of a prolonged outbreak abroad and a new outbreak in Thailand which is likely to delay a recovery in tourism, said Titanun Mallikamas, assistant governor of the monetary policy group.

The central bank forecasts foreign tourist arrivals in 2021 to reach 5.5 million, a decline from an earlier projection of 9 million.

Although there has been progress in COVID-19 vaccine development, vaccine distribution is expected to be limited, he said.

The BoT predicts vaccination coverage in advanced economies to be at 30 percent of the population in the second quarter of 2021, with the coverage ratio in key countries for Thai tourism at 30 percent in the third quarter.

Under this scenario, Thailand is expected to re-open to foreign travellers from the second half of 2021, with arrivals gaining in the final quarter, said Titanun.

Two scenarios were envisioned for re-opening to foreign tourists, dependent on vaccine development.

A 14-day quarantine period for foreigners with a special tourist visa is the first scenario, while the other forgoes a quarantine period for mandatory vaccination and infection test certificates, he said.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals is expected to continue increasing in 2022, in line with vaccine development and herd immunity, he said. Under this scenario, vaccination and quarantine are not required.

For 2020, the BoT upgraded its GDP contraction forecast for Thailand to 6.6 percent from 7.8 percent following improved signs of an economic recovery in the third and fourth quarters, particularly exports and domestic consumption.

Full-year merchandise exports are projected to contract by 7.4 percent, up from 8.2 percent, while private consumption is forecast to shrink by 1.4 percent instead of 3.5 percent./.