Thailand’s central bank chief said on Monday it would take several years for foreign tourist numbers to return to the 40 million a year level, with the coronavirus pandemic hitting a lucrative industry that provides a lot of jobs.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) expects only 8 million foreign visitors this year, down 80% from a record 39.8 million last year, when foreign receipts accounted for 11.4% of GDP.
The central bank has forecast Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy will shrink by a record 8.1%, with bottom seen in the second quarter, Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told a seminar.
“It will take about two years for the economy to return to the levels before COVID-19,” he said. “It will be a long checkmark recovery”.
The most worrying issue is employment, particularly in the service and manufacturing sector, Veerathai said.
Recent weakness in the baht THB=TH has been driven by capital outflows on economic and political concerns, Veerathai said, adding the currency would remain volatile.
Read the full article at The Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-thailand-economy-cenbank/thai-cenbank-says-could-be-several-years-before-tourist-numbers-normalise-idUSKCN24L0GX