Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry has revealed that international arrivals may be as low as 500,000 this year, as Thailand’s third-quarter prospects remain gloomy.
Minister Phlipat Ratchakitprakarn said, if the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak continues past September, the number of foreign tourists this year might be 500,000-700,000, which is similar to the forecast from the Bank of Thailand, while the domestic market outlook is difficult to predict.
He said the Tourism and Sport Ministry is working with the Interior Ministry to introduce “blue zones”, which are areas reporting low COVID-19 infections, as alternative destinations for tourists. These areas include districts in Nan, Phayao, Bueng Kan provinces and Chiang Khan in Loei province.
Mr. Phlipat added that Phuket may introduce “blue zones” in the next two weeks and wants to wait until August 16th to ensure the province is clear of the outbreak, after it was downgraded to an orange zone following an increase in new local cases.