Thai tourist arrivals slump 66% year-on-year from January to June amid COVID-19 pandemic

File photo of people at a beach after the government eased some protective measures following the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Hua Hin, Thailand, Jun 13, 2020.

BANGKOK: Thailand recorded no foreign tourist arrivals and spending for a third straight month in June, as borders remained closed amid the pandemic, with a 66 per cent year-on-year drop in the January to June period to 6.69 million visitors, tourism ministry data showed.

From January to June, spending by foreign tourists was 332 billion baht (US$10.54 billion), down 65 per cent from a year earlier.

The tourism-reliant country, which had a record 39.8 million tourist arrivals last year, imposed a ban on incoming passenger flights in April, when it first recorded zero foreign visitors.

In June 2019 alone, there were 3.05 million foreign tourists who spent about 131 billion baht.

Thailand will extend a state of emergency until the end of August to control the coronavirus outbreak, although there has been no local virus transmission recorded for more than two months.

The central bank has forecast the number of foreign tourists will plunge 80 per cent this year to 8 million. Last year, spending by foreign visitors accounted for 11.4 per cent of gross domestic product.

Z24 News

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