HK airport shutdown has knock-on effects on inbound travel into Thailand

The Kasikorn Bank (KBank) Research Center estimates that the closure of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) will affect Thailand’s tourism industry “by not less than 14 billion baht (US$454 million)”, according to a National News Bureau of Thailand report.

KBank Research Center deduced that the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, which led to the shutdown of HKIA and flight cancellations, not only hurt Hong Kong’s economy but also tourism, particularly for inbound travel into Thailand.

Hong Kong’s airport closure and flight cancellations may dampen Thailand’s inbound tourism

The KBank report also stated that August is the peak period for tourists from Hong Kong travelling to Thailand, with an average of about 4,200 to 5,000 tourists per day.

Continued disruptions to HKIA operations could lead to a loss of 30,000 tourists travelling from Hong Kong to Thailand, with an estimated loss of “not less than 14 billion baht” – the figure excluding tourists from other countries who use Hong Kong as a transit point.

In 2018, there were about 1,015,000 tourists from Hong Kong to Thailand, accounting for 2.6 per cent of the total 38 million tourists, and generating about 40 billion baht. In 2017, there were 800,000 tourists from Hong Kong to Thailand, out of the total 36 million tourists.

During the first half of 2019, there was a positive expansion of 5.8 per cent of Hong Kong tourists to Thailand, as compared to the same period last year. Hence, the loss of Hong Kong tourists to Thailand could put a further damper on the country’s ailing tourism industry.

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