Thailand’s airlines and hotels are bracing for the worst this year. According to figures, local tourists are choosing destinations within driving distance rather than fly to locations from different parts of the country. Worsened by lower purchasing power and travel restrictions, both airline and hotel industries are seeing more losses. There is a chance that some of these companies are going to shut down for good.
Thailand’s Stimulus Package
Between hotels and airlines, the latter had it worse. 6 million room nights were fully redeemed thanks to the Thai government’s stimulus campaign. On the other hand, the 2 million air ticket quota still has 1.3 million seats available.
This is part of the Thai government’s $59.7 billion stimulus package that includes cash handouts and tax incentives for affected industries and individuals.
Before 2020, Thailand is a go-to country for backpackers and all types of travelers. 40 million tourists were expected to arrive in the country last year. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has reported a decline in both domestic and international flights. Domestic flights dropped by 27.1% in the fourth quarter compared to 2019. On the other hand, international flights plummeted by 99.1% in the same period.
Thai Air Asia (TAA) currently just has 10 planes flying 20 times per day on average. Before the second outbreak, TAA had 40 planes.
Worst Economy Since 1997 for Thailand
The pandemic shattered Thailand’s economy making it the worst year since 1997. With its struggling tourism industry coupled with an ongoing political turmoil, Thailand’s economy dropped by 6.1% making it the worst year since 1997’s 7.6% decline during the Asian financial crisis.
Secretary-general of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) Danucha Pichayanan mentioned that the stimulus boosted spending.
Vaccine Rollout to Help Boost Tourism
Authorities see the vaccine rollout as the best solution to Thailand’s tourism industry. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) even suggests that a vaccine passport is necessary by June if the country plans to reopen to the international market.
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