Tourism to limit economic pain as new government awaited

Thailand has not been spared the political uncertainty that usually comes with elections, yet foreign tourists returning by the millions this year are counted on to help shield Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. 

The influx of visitors — totalling 6.5 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared with 498,000 a year ago — is aiding greater business and consumer activity in Thailand. On track to hit the government’s target of hosting three times more foreign guests this year from 10 million in 2022, tourism is seen as an anchor amid the political noise, even as the exports growth-engine sputters.

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