Sanan: ‘Weak baht is also a factor’
Economic operators have hailed the government’s further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, particularly the virus status downgrade, saying they will attract more tourists and help boost the economy.
Sanan Angubolkul, president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the number of tourists is expected to reach 10 to 12 million by the end of this year, following the further relaxation of anti-virus measures.
This should boost GDP growth to 2.75-3.50%, he said.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the number of visitors to the kingdom had risen from 427,869 last year to 5.2 million visitors this year as of Wednesday, and they spent 211.97 billion baht on their trips. stays.
Mr Sanan said the weakening baht has also benefited the tourism sector and more arrivals are expected in the last quarter of the year for the peak tourist season, especially visitors fleeing cold winters in Europe.
Moreover, if the Chinese government eases travel restrictions to allow its citizens to travel abroad by the end of this year, Chinese arrivals will give an additional boost to Thailand’s tourism sector, said Mr Sanan.
He also urged the government to seize this opportunity to attract foreign investment to boost competitiveness, promote technology transfer and create more jobs.
It was announced in the Official newspaper last Tuesday that the government will further downgrade Covid-19 from a dangerous communicable disease to a communicable disease under surveillance from October 1.
The state of emergency imposed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic will be lifted on Friday and the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) set up under the emergency decree will be dissolved accordingly.
Instead of the CCSA chaired by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Health will oversee disease control efforts under the Communicable Diseases Act, with an action plan designed to respond to varying degrees of severity of Covid- 19.
Sa-nga Ruangwattanakul, chairman of the Khao San Road Business Association, said the downgrading of the Covid-19 status will boost tourist confidence and spending in the backpacker paradise for the remaining months of the year by 20 to 30 %.
Businesses on Khao San Road are coming back to life as more foreign and Thai visitors return, following the easing of restrictions, he said.
Meanwhile, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said he would chair a meeting of Bangkok’s communicable disease committee on Thursday to plan for the lifting of the state of emergency and the downgrading of Covid-19.
He said Bangkok was now ready to fully reopen to foreign visitors.