The government has halved its expected number of international visitors this year as this month’s third outbreak of Covid-19 had battered tourism sentiment and the great uncertainty over how the pandemic would pan out.
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the government is now expecting international arrivals in 2021 to be just 3-4 million, over half its previous forecast of 6.5 million.
He added that the ministry had now revised down its tourism revenue target from 1.218 trillion baht to 850 billion baht, with 300 billion from foreign travelers, and the other 550 billion baht coming from the domestic market.
However, authorities will continue with their plan to bring in vaccinated international visitors via a pilot project called Phuket Sandbox in July. The Tourism and Sports Ministry will help distribute Covid-19 vaccines to cover 70% of Phuket’s residents to prepare for international tourists.