|13 February, 2020

Thailand foreign tourist numbers tumble on coronavirus outbreak

Numbers of visitors may decline until June

A tourist wearing a protective face mask walks past a "tuk tuk" motorised rickshaw in front of a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, February 11, 2020.

A tourist wearing a protective face mask walks past a "tuk tuk" motorised rickshaw in front of a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, February 11, 2020.

Reuters/Chalinee Thirasupa

BANGKOK - The number of foreign tourists in Thailand slumped nearly 40% between Feb. 1 and 7, hit by the coronavirus outbreak, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said on Thursday.

January's foreign arrivals dropped 1% from a year earlier to about 3.7 million, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn told a meeting of tourism operators.

Numbers of visitors may decline until June, and the country could lose as much as 500 billion baht ($16 billion) in revenue if there were no measures to support the industry, the TAT governor said. ($1 = 31.12 baht)

(Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Writing by Orathai Sriring; ; editing by John Stonestreet) ((orathai.sriring@thomsonreuters.com; +662 0802309; Reuters Messaging: orathai.sriring.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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