For Thailand's tourism, which is much more used to a growth narrative, plunging visitor numbers is a sobering reality the industry is now facing. Unfortunately, the tourism free fall hasn't stopped.
The number of foreign tourists in Thailand may fall by six million this year to 33.8 million, the lowest in four years, due to growing fears over the coronavirus outbreak, the Tourism Authority of Thailand said on Monday.
That was downgraded from last month’s forecast for 35 million visitors this year, down 12 percent from last year’s record 39.8 million.
Visitor numbers in February likely slumped 40 percent, with a deeper contraction expected in March and April, the tourism marketing body’s governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters.
(Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Alison Williams)
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Tags: coronavirus, thailand, tourism, tourism authority of thailand
Photo credit: A masked tourist poses for a souvenir photo at Wat Pho, a popular Buddhist temple in Bangkok which has seen lesser crowds in recent weeks due to the virus scare. Sakchai Lalit / Associated Press