Thai cenbank says to take several years to see 40 mln foreign tourists

BANGKOK, July 20 (Reuters) - Thailand's central bank chief said on Monday it would take several years for foreign tourist numbers to return to the 40 million levels with the coronavirus pandemic hitting a lucrative industry that provides a lot of jobs.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) expects only 8 million foreign visitors this year, down 80% from last year's record 39.8 million.

Bad loans in the country will rise but new steps should prevent them from surging, Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told a seminar.

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon and Orathai Sriring Editing by Ed Davies)

((orathai.sriring@tr.com; +662 0802309;))

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