The Bank of Thailand (BOT) is harboring a positive outlook for the country’s economic growth in the third quarter, anticipating an upswing compared to the previous period. This boost to the Thai economy can be attributed to the sustained expansion, largely fueled by heightened private consumption and a service sector on the mend. The resurgence in the service sector can be directly attributed to the growing influx of both domestic and international tourists.
The BOT’s data reveals that merchandise exports, excluding gold, experienced a modest uptick during the third quarter. This surge can be credited to substantial contributions from the automobile and petroleum sectors, in harmony with increased activities within the manufacturing sector. Other sectors that displayed robust performance included jewelry, agricultural products, and agro-manufacturing.
However, the bank reported a decline in private investment due to reduced investments in machinery and equipment, as compared to the previous reporting period. Public spending also witnessed a contraction, affecting both current and capital expenditures.
Thailand’s allure as a tourist destination continued to shine, with 20 million foreign tourists gracing its shores from January to September this year. September, in particular, marked a significant surge in tourist arrivals, with a notable influx from countries such as South Korea and India, buoyed by extended public holidays. The Middle East and Europe also experienced a notable uptick in traveler numbers, compared to the previous month. Furthermore, Chinese tourists reaped the benefits of a visa exemption scheme introduced towards the end of the month.
The increase in tourist numbers is paralleled by a rise in tourist expenditures, reflecting the higher number of visitors and increased occupancy rates. It is essential to note, though, that a recent incident at a Bangkok shopping mall could potentially have a minor impact on tourist sentiment and confidence. Despite this, the government’s free visa policies and the recurring patterns of seasonal tourism are poised to mitigate some of these effects.