FPO ups tourist arrival forecast to 200,000
Projects 6 million visitors next year
The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) expects 200,000 international tourist arrivals this year, up from its earlier forecast of 180,000, said director-general Pornchai Thiraveja.
After the country's reopening on Nov 1 till Nov 14, foreign tourist arrivals tallied 50,000, taking the total number of foreign tourist arrivals to 100,000.
Most of the tourists who entered the country during this period came from the US at 7,999, followed by the United Arab Emirates at 7,935 and Germany at 5,600.
The average spending of the tourists is 60,000 baht per person, up from 50,000 baht earlier, because of the additional costs related to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Pornchai said.
The FPO projects the number of foreign tourist arrivals next year at 6 million. If China allows its citizens to travel overseas, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals could be 1 million, which will raise the total number of foreign tourist arrivals to 7 million.
Mr Pornchai said that whether the government will introduce additional stimulus measures to prop up the economy next year depends on the outbreak situation. He believes that Thailand can still contain the contagion and prevent a new wave of infections.
He added that the FPO wants to see the economic growth in an organic basis next year led by the private sector. However, the government is ready to launch new stimulus packages in the case that the new wave of infections occurs.
Mr Pornchai said the export sector will still be the key driver of the economy this year and next year and the sector is expected to benefit from the global economic recovery.
The FPO forecast economic growth this year and next year at 1% and 4%, respectively.
The economic momentum will also get a boost from the state expenditure of around 3.1 trillion baht in fiscal 2022 and the state enterprises' investment plan of 307 billion.
The government still has 250 billion baht remaining of the total 500 billion baht borrowing under the second emergency loan decree.
He added that the challenges next year include whether or not the government can still control the outbreak, the shortage of containers for exporters, the dearth of semiconductors for the manufacturing sector and the labour shortage, he said.