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

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.

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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