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Thailand looks to tourism to drive economic recovery

BANGKOK, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Thailand has pinned hope on the tourism sector to boost economic recovery amid growing concerns about a slowing global economy and its impact on the country's exports.

According to the latest report by Kasikorn Research Center, a Thai think tank, Thailand's economic recovery will be driven primarily by tourism for the remainder of this year and through 2023.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn told a press briefing on Tuesday that a total of 10 million international arrivals are expected by the end of this year, which will generate a revenue of 1.5 trillion baht (about 39.3 billion U.S. dollars).

Similar prediction has been made by Kasikorn Research Center, which expects 13-20 million foreign visitors to Thailand in 2023.

However, the number of international arrivals is still far below the pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, Thailand welcomed nearly 40 million tourists.

To better boost the tourism industry, the TAT has launched the "Always Warm" campaign in this upcoming winter as tourists are looking for a destination to escape the cold weather amid rising energy costs, according to Yuthasak.

"The Always Warm campaign will not only touch on Thailand's warm weather but also the warm hospitality," he said, adding that it will launch promotions with airlines to attract foreign tourists.

The TAT is optimistic about generating an estimated 2.4 trillion baht (about 63 billion U.S. dollars) in tourism revenue next year, which is 80 percent of the amount in 2019.

The tourism-reliant kingdom suffered a 6.2 percent GDP contraction in 2020, the largest yearly dip in over two decades, and expanded by 1.6 percent last year.