The Association of Thai Travel Agents predicted Thailand could see 8 million foreign tourists in 2021, but only if the government reopens the country without quarantine for coronavirus-vaccinated travelers by June.
ATTA President Vichit Prakobgosol forecast March 11 that 200,000-300,000 tourists would arrive in June, increasing to 500,000 in July to 1.5 million in October to 2.5 million in December as vaccinated tourists go aboard for the first time in two years.
Vichit said those numbers would be halved, however, if the government continues to insist on 14-day quarantines and doesn’t reopen the country by June.
The tourism industry needs a three-month roadmap to plan for the country’s reopening, Vichit said, so that packages and tours can be planned. If the government stubbornly sticks to overzealous border controls, the economy will collapse, he predicted.
He claimed only 25 percent of four million tourism-sector employees still had jobs.
Even if the country reopens soon, it will take three years for Thailand’s tourism industry to recover to 2019 levels, Vichit predicted.
In the interim, the government needs to expand its subsidized domestic-tourism campaign and “Let’s Go Halves” economic-stimulus initiative, he said.