The National Tourism Policy Committee heard more calls for the government to provide assistance to struggling businesses, vaccinate the public and reopen the country to foreign visitors.
Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Rathchakitprakarn chaired the May 7 meeting to confer about reopening the country to foreign tourists to propel Thailand’s economy. Vaccinations against Covid-19 for personnel in the tourism industry, rehabilitation of businesses affected by the pandemic and creating income from tourism in 2021 were also discussed, as well as budget proposals.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand stated that income from Thai and foreign tourists in 2017 was 18.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Thailand ranked fourth in the world in the amount of tourism revenue generated.
In January-May 2020, the ministry noted that tourist numbers fell 49.2 percent from 2019 and revenue by 56.3 percent to 4.3 billion baht.
Since then, many tourism businesses have gone bust and tourism organizations have requested more government help.