Leading financial analysis firm and bank Kasikorn Research Center, also known as K-research, cut their estimate for tourism revenue for Thailand from 267 billion baht for the first half of 2021 to 137 billion baht earlier this week.
K-research was basing their major cut, which covers the first half of this year, due to both an outbreak of Covid-19 in January and a current outbreak of Covid-19 that saw well over a thousand cases today, April 14th, 2021.
The cut is primarily based around domestic tourism although K-research believes that if the current round of infections is not brought under control either through vaccines, test, and trace, or restrictive measures that foreign tourism, which has largely been shut down for a year due to mandatory quarantine, will also be affected. Thailand was previously planning to start cautiously opening up tourism without quarantine later this year to selected tourists.
K-research stated that they support procurement of more vaccines and accelerating the process of vaccinating the vulnerable and elderly versus long-term restrictive shutdowns or “lockdowns” that would further devastate an already fragile economy and devastated tourism sector that has been struggling for a year. They also expressed concerns that any serious shutdowns or measures that lasted a long period of time could further affect overall tourism infrastructure for tourists in general.
K-research concluded their report by stating that they feel the current round of Covid-19 infections will take longer to resolve than the prior two and could cause a further hit to the economy.