Thai tourist arrivals slump 66% y/y in Jan-June amid pandemic

The tourism-reliant country imposed a ban on incoming passenger flights in April

  
Buddhist monks wearing protective face masks walk to collect alms at an almost empty beach, which is usually crowed with tourists, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Pattaya, Thailand April 26, 2020.

Buddhist monks wearing protective face masks walk to collect alms at an almost empty beach, which is usually crowed with tourists, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Pattaya, Thailand April 26, 2020.

Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

BANGKOK - Thailand recorded no foreign tourist arrivals and spending for a third straight month in June, as borders remained closed amid the pandemic, with a 66% year-on-year drop in the January-June period to 6.69 million visitors, tourism ministry data showed.

In January-June, spending by foreign tourists was 332 billion baht ($10.54 billion), down 65% from a year earlier.

The tourism-reliant country, which had a record 39.8 million tourist arrivals last year, imposed a ban on incoming passenger flights in April, when it first recorded zero foreign visitors.

In June 2019 alone, there were 3.05 million foreign tourists who spent about 131 billion baht ($4.14 billion).

Thailand will extend a state of emergency until the end of August to control the coronavirus outbreak, although there has been no local virus transmission recorded for more than two months. 

The central bank has forecast the number of foreign tourists will plunge 80% this year to 8 million. Last year, spending by foreign visitors accounted for 11.4% of gross domestic product. ($1 = 31.49 baht)

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Ed Davies) ((orathai.sriring@thomsonreuters.com; +662 0802309; Reuters Messaging: orathai.sriring.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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