Data released by the Bank of Thailand shows that tourism is now down from 100 000 to just 1,800 daily entries.
Thailand has effectively closed its doors to non-resident foreigners wanting to enter the country under a state of emergency that comes into force on Thursday (March 26).
Only some groups of people will be allowed to enter and exit the country and only the prime minister and responsible authorities will be authorised to open the borders in special cases.
The coronavirus epidemic is putting up to 50 million jobs in the global travel and tourism sector at risk, with travel likely to slump by a quarter this year and Asia being the most affected continent, the World Travel and Tourism Council has said.
This impact would depend on how long the epidemic lasts and could still be exacerbated by recent restrictive measures, such as those taken by the U.S. administration on travel to Europe, WTTC’s managing director Virginia Messina told Reuters.
From zero dollar tour to zero booking
Arrivals booked by the Association of Thai Travel Agents dropped 99% from China and 71% overall for the first ten days of February compared with the same period last year, reports Reuters.
The sharp plunge in tourism income intensifies the pressure on Thailand’s economy, which already felt a squeeze on exports, severe drought in the rural areas, budget delay and from the strong baht.
Economy to shrink by 5.3 per cent in 2020
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Thai economy would contract significantly in 2020 and headline inflation would become negative, said the Bank of Thailand in a Press Release.
The Committee viewed that the Thai economy would markedly contract in 2020 as tourist figures and merchandise exports were severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the slowdown of trading partner economies, and supply chain disruptions in many countries.
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