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Thailand, Indonesia push to revive pandemic-hit tourism industry

Thailand, Indonesia push to revive pandemic-hit tourism industry

Thailand is aiming high for 100 million domestic trips this year as the international travel market will not be likely to return to normal soon because of the COVID-19. (Photo: Jing Daily)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming high for 100
million domestic trips this year as the international travel market will
not be likely to return to normal soon because of the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has revised down the pre-pandemic
target of 172 million trips for domestic tourism to 80 million trips in 2020.

The new
domestic target is reachable because local travel is likely to resume first,
particularly for government meetings and incentives, said TAT governor Yuthasak
Supasorn.

Last year, 13
million outbound trips were made and many of these travellers cannot take any
trips abroad this year, a segment the TAT expects will redirect into domestic
travel.

There are
signs from travel agencies that Thais are starting to book local rooms for
holidays, he said, adding that the TAT is pinning hopes on domestic consumption
and maintain the overall goal of 1.23 trillion baht (38.33 billion USD) revenue
this year.

Tourism has been
the driving force for Thailand’s growth in recent years. Before the COVID-19
outbreak, the country expected that revenues from the “smokeless” industry
would make up at least 20 percent of its GDP this year. However, tourism was
the first sector hard hit by the pandemic.

Data from the
Tourism and Sports Ministry reveals that the number of domestic trips plunged
29.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020 to 24.1 million while revenue from
local travel shrank 33.7 percent to 180 billion baht.

Thailand
reported one new COVID-19 infection on May 14, taking the total count to 3,018,
including 2,850 recoveries and 56 deaths.

In Indonesia,
the government is set to provide a 25 trillion rupiah (1.68 billion USD)
stimulus package that includes airfare and hotel discounts to speed up the
recovery of the travel industry after the pandemic subsides.

Tourism is one
of the hardest-hit sectors by the current health crisis, with no fewer than 1.4
million workers within the sector having been laid off.

Finance
Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Agency head Febrio Kacaribu said on May 13 that the
stimulus package, which aims to boost consumption among the middle class, would
be effective by the third quarter when COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be
relaxed./.