Omicron stymies tourism recovery in Thailand and Cambodia

Even though the tourism industry has started to see optimism from the country’s reopening on Nov 1 last year, a fresh whiplash in travel sentiment from Omicron variant has put the brakes on recovery prospects in 2022.

There remain challenges for business to quickly adapt to weather the storm.

The most likely scenario for Thai hospitality business is U-shaped gradual recovery until 2024, starting with domestic leisure travel which has already resumed, said Boriwat Pinpradab, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Lina Abdullah, regional general manager for Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand at Oakwood, said the suspension of the Test & Go scheme is the most worrying threat for the hotel business.

Ms Abdullah said the outlook for this year will see moderate recovery from 2021 as the number of tourism arrivals is estimated to increase by 30%.

However, the country should attract potential segments such as international film crews and medical tourists which have a longer length of stay to help support tourism recovery.

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