Central bank admits crackdown on zero-dollar package tours has greater impact than earlier projected


The government’s crackdown on zero-dollar package tours from China may have greater impacts on tourism business than earlier projected but whether the impacts will affect the GDP or not is yet to be assessed together with the overall economic performance, said Mr Don Nakornthap, senior director of Macro-economic Policy Office of the Bank of Thailand, on Wednesday.


Tourism sector accounts for 11-12 percent of the GDP and the number of tourist arrivals for the month of October has dropped to 2.26 million compared to 2.41 million in September representing 10.1 percent drop, said Mr Don, adding that this has weakened the consumption of tourism-related private sector.

Coupled with the weak purchasing power of the farming sector due to lower prices of farm products, the consumption growth of the private sector for the month of October contracted 1.9 percent against the figure in September.

Don said it was initially projected that the crackdown on zero-dollar package tours from China and the increase of fees for visa upon arrival would cut down the number of tourist arrivals by 200,000 for this year, but it appeared that the real impacts might be far greater than the earlier projection. The actual impacts, he added, will be further assessed.

Meanwhile, exports for October contracted 4.3 percent compared to September’s 3 percent growth, but exports of certain goods and for certain markets remain positive indicating that there is potential for expansion of medium-grade goods.

Private sector’s investments for October contracted 1.5 percent resulting from continuing contraction in construction sector and investments in machinery.