A major Bank of Thailand report has suggested that a crucial way to stimulate the
Thai economy is to open up the country to mass tourism.
Reliance on improvements to the tourism sector from promoting domestic tourism are just not enough.
They are only a small proportion compared to foreign tourism potential and besides the effects of promoting the domestic market have been minimal, said a report.
Though they suggest that the opening of the country must be a balancing act between rescuing the economy and ensuring that there is not a resurgence of the pandemic in Thailand.
Thai media RYT9.com went with the headline that the Bank of Thailand was proposing “turning on the switch of foreign tourism” to boost the economy but in a way that the country’s health measures would not be compromised.
They published an infographic called “Safe Opening of the Country” that highlighted this balancing act.
Green on the left were the advantages to opening the economy. Low was domestic tourism while medium was opening to high spenders, long term tourists and those coming for medical or beauty treatment purposes. High was open to all tourism.
On the right in red was the health risk potential. For the above groups it was low for domestic tourism but high for a full opening.
The Bank of Thailand report acknowledged that tourism is, or more accurately was, 20% of gross domestic product in Thailand.
It brought in 2.9 trillion baht to the economy.
Domestic tourism represented only a one in three part of this.
Promoting the domestic market was not the answer as its effect was only being seen at certain resorts and at certain times.
This has principally been seen on the ground at places like Pattaya, with close proximity to Bangkok, where tourism has only been reignited by domestic tourism at weekends and long weekends.
Places like Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Samui are not seeing any of these benefits.
Even Pattaya is very quiet during the week as like everywhere else there are no foreign tourists in town.
The report from the economic arm of the bank further reported that 8.3 million Thais are employed in the tourism industry.
Many have lost their jobs already and there are fears that millions more could be made redundant if the government does not do something urgently to open the country up more realistically to foreign tourists.
Measures so far are seen as a drop in the ocean. – Reuters