The latest figures from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports show that domestic tourism in Thailand surged by more than 30% in February 2021 compared to January 2021, when the country was hit hard by the second wave of COVID-19. Thailand’s domestic tourism market was again hit hard by the third outbreak when stepping into the second quarter of 2021. KResearch projects Thailand’s domestic tourism market revenue to shrink to THB137 billion or a loss of THB130 billion in the first half of 2021, compared to the prior estimate of THB267 billion made in January 2021, as the outbreak has infected more clusters than before and spread to many provinces in early April when Thais were planning their Songkran trips. This caused many travel and hotel businesses to be affected by cancellations of reservations due to concern and uncertainty about the situation and the outbreak prevention and control measures of each province.
Factors affecting Thailand’s tourism industry in the first half of 2021 include the expected longer time to contain the epidemic than the previous waves due to the large number of infections, the rapid spread of new variants in this wave, the origin of the outbreak being Bangkok which has a high proportion of economic activity, and the occurrence of a new outbreak only 3 months after the previous one.
KResearch believes that in addition to providing the fastest and most comprehensive vaccination for Thai people by accelerating the vaccination of the population and opening up more vaccine alternatives to build confidence in government, all sectors should join forces to quickly contain the pandemic and continue to maintain strict prevention and control standards. On the other hand, operators must be prepared for changes in the market environment that remain highly uncertain in the second half of 2021, including policy risk and market condition, to mitigate the potential long-term impact on the economic system and tourism.
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