Thailand sees first 1,200 foreign tourists in Oct since ban in April

BANGKOK : Thailand recorded its first 1,201 foreign tourists last month since a ban in April aimed at averting coronavirus outbreaks, as the country gradually opens up to a select number of visitors to help its struggling, tourism-reliant economy.

The 1,201 foreign visitors is a fraction of the 3.07 million arrivals in the same month last year.

Tourism Ministry data showed the latest visitors included 471 from China, 231 from neighbouring Cambodia, 178 from Middle East countries and 116 from Europe, all travelling on special 90-day visas that require two weeks of quarantine.

Thailand's entry restrictions have helped keep its coronavirus case tally to less than 4,000 infections.

The state planning agency has forecast 6.7 million foreign tourists this year after last year's revised record 39.9 million visitors who spent 1.91 trillion baht (S$84.3 billion), or about 11.3 per cent of gross domestic product.

It predicts only five million foreign visitors next year. - REUTERS