Cheap Thai Currency Boosts Tourism and Therefore the Economy
Thailand’s economy grew more than expected in the third quarter, aided by the rebound in tourism in Thailand coupled with the cheap Thai baht. Thailand previously suffered greatly from the corona crisis, which limited the tourism sector in the country.
Earlier this year, the country relaxed the corona measures, making it easier for foreigners to visit. Thailand is also usually a popular destination for the Dutch.
The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), the body that advises the Thai government on socio-economic policy, expects 10.2 million foreign tourists to come to Thailand this year. Next year that should be 23.5 million people. This means that Thailand is not yet at the level it was before the corona crisis. For example, the country was visited by 40 million tourists in 2019. The NESDC already assumed last year that it could take at least another five years before tourism is back at that level.
Because of the cheap baht, the Thai currency, it is now more attractive for tourists to visit the country. The baht has already fallen 6 percent against the dollar this year. One dollar is now equivalent to just over 36 baht, converted to 0.97 euros. Due to the recovery in tourism, the Thai economy grew by 4.5 percent on an annual basis between July and September. Compared to the second quarter, the economy grew by 1.2 percent, where experts expected an increase of 0.8 percent.
The tourism sector in Thailand represents about 12 percent of the economy and accounts for one-fifth of all jobs in the country. Before the corona crisis, the sector employed more than 7 million people, equivalent to one-fifth of all jobs in the country.