KResearch projects that the two waves of COVID-19 within three months will have caused Thailand's number of inbound tourists to drop to 35,000 in the first half of 2021. Other pressure factors include the postponement of the tourism re-opening plan, limited availability of COVID-19 vaccines in Thailand and the international tourism promotion policies of each country. At the same time, the pandemic abroad also hurt several segments of Thailand's international tourists.
Regarding the 2021 inbound tourism outlook, KResearch projects that, in the worst-case scenario, the number of international tourist arrivals in Thailand during 2021 could be 250,000, generating tourism revenue of around THB25 billion. This projection is based on the assumption that there may be another wave of outbreak and that the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in Thailand is limited, leading the Thai government to be careful in relaxing the conditions of the mandatory quarantine period for foreign travelers.
In the best-case scenario, the number of international tourist arrivals in Thailand will be 1.2 million, generating tourism revenue of around THB120 billion. This is based on the assumption that no more domestic outbreaks occur, that foreign epidemics ease and that domestic vaccination effectively covers a large percentage of the Thai population, prompting the Thai government to shorten the mandatory quarantine period and further open the country to foreign tourists. This would include the implementation of a travel bubble for low-risk tourists from Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Looking ahead, the status of Thai tourism will depend on the concerted efforts of many parties and stringent COVID-19 prevention standards in order to reduce the risk of another pandemic wave, which could otherwise hurt the competitiveness and marketing opportunities of travel-related business during the remainder of 2021.
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