Thailand, hard hit by the absence of tourists during the coronavirus pandemic, is facing a new threat and is sounding the alarm. This time, the tourism of the kingdom was hit by a natural disaster. We are talking about a flood that practically “washed away” a significant part of the crop, which cast doubt on the restoration of the tourism sector, since food prices are expected to rise with new negative forecast adjustments.
Thailand is facing the worst flooding in recent years, with seasonal storms and flooded rivers flooding much of its crop area, threatening food prices, Bangkokpost said. Popular tourist destinations such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai reported street flooding this week after heavy rains brought on by Typhoon Noru, causing water levels in the Chao Phraya and Ping rivers to rise dramatically. According to official figures, the flood affected 1.2 million rai (160,000 hectares) of agricultural land, damaging nearly 82,000 homes in 510 districts.
With more storms forecast for the next few weeks, Thai authorities are taking steps to minimize further damage to crops and homes. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha will travel to the flood-hit northeastern provinces on Tuesday to oversee relief efforts. Between January 1 and September 25, Thailand received about 24% more than average rainfall, according to the Kasikorn Research Center (KRC), citing data from the weather department.
Rice crops have suffered the most damage, and this comes amid forecasts of smaller harvests from major producers such as India and Pakistan, which have been hit by devastating floods this year. The center estimates that Thailand's main rice crop could fall by about 9% due to flooding, pre-harvest crop damage and high fertilizer prices.
“The current impact of the flood will hit households that and so vulnerable due to low purchasing power, high cost of living and high household debt,” the KRC report said.
Decreased rice production and damage to vegetable and fruit crops could also be bad news for a country that is struggling with the highest food inflation in 10 years. According to Tim Leelahaphan, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in Bangkok, the chain will work like this: a hit to agriculture will increase fuel and electricity prices and negatively affect the national currency of Thailand.
“The impact of the flooding could be an additional risk that could emerge in the next quarter or two for Thailand. We need to monitor whether this will affect production or lead to lower rates. Any potential impact on tourism, which we hope will recover in the next quarter or two, will be a new lesson for Thailand this time around, especially as it is the hope for an economic recovery next year,” the expert explained.
< p>Thailand, which is also a major producer of rubber and sugar, is among the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. While the country was hit by floods in 2019, 2017 and 2011, some regions have suffered severe droughts in the last decade.
On Tuesday, Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Sethaput Sutivartnarueput said the recovery Tourism will ensure continued growth for Southeast Asia's second largest economy next year. The Central Bank has previously stated that the effects of the floods need to be closely monitored.
For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “The dangerous disease indicated by a bloated stomach has been named.”