Thailand’s tourism may take five years to recover: authority hinh anh 1People receive their first COVID-19 jabs in Muang district of Phuket (Photo:
Hanoi (VNA) - Tourism, which contributed about one-fifth of Thailand’s economy before the COVID-19 pandemic, could take another five years to revive fully, said the National Economic and Social Development Council, citing the Tourism Authority of Thailand.  

The delayed return will impact more than 7 million workers, some of whom may need to find jobs in other fields, the council said. Earlier, some analysts had expected a recovery within two years.

Thailand welcomed nearly 40 million visitors in 2019, generating 60 billion USD in revenue. The Southeast Asian nation, which closed its borders to most foreign visitors in March 2020, is trying to gradually reopen some destinations to vaccinated visitors with the economy struggling to gain traction.

The resort island of Phuket is set to be the first place to reopen in July, followed by 10 other destinations in October. 

All people directly involved in the tourism sector in Phuket will be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the holiday island reopens to international visitors, planned for July 1.

Phumkit Raktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourist Association, on May 24 said that 94,000 people employed in the province's tourism industry would be inoculated against COVID-19. All residents with household documents registered in the province were also targeted to receive vaccine shots.

The island's vaccination drive plans to cover 70 percent of the population by the end of June so it could reopen to foreign arrivals in July.

Thailand’s COVID-19 death toll surpassed the 800-benchmark while its tally reached 132,213 on May 24./.