BANGKOK: The number of foreign tourists in Thailand may plunge as much as 25.8 million to 14 million in 2020, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said on Monday (May 11).
The plunge will take tourism numbers to the lowest level in 14 years, as the COVID-19 pandemic hits global travel.
The TAT predicts only 14 million to 16 million foreign visitors will come to Thailand this year, down sharply from 33.8 million projected in March.
Last year's foreign arrivals were a record 39.8 million.
Daily new COVID-19 cases in the single digits have prompted Thailand to cautiously allow some businesses this week to reopen after weeks of a semi-lockdown.
Thailand's order to temporarily close venues with risks of infection ended on Apr 30, with eight types of venues allowed to resume operations, including restaurants outside department stores and supermarkets, public and private parks, hair salons and barbershops, golf courses and driving ranges as well as sports venues for running, tennis and badminton.