Rebounding tourism boosts Thailand’s retail sales

(Source: Bigstock)

Thai retail sales are predicted to rise by between 6 and 8 per cent this year as tourism recovers from the Covid-19 outbreak.

That rate of growth would be about double the country’s anticipated GDP growth, according to the Bangkok Post.

The president of the Thai Retailers Association (TRA), Central Retail’s Yol Phokasub, said the country’s retail sector has improved, especially in tourist locations like Phuket, Samui and Pattaya.

“Tourism makes up a vital portion of the Thai economy, in addition to exports,” Phokasub told the Bangkok Post

“Although consumer sentiment early this year remains fragile, it is better than expected.”

The TRA is urging the government to implement more policies and incentives for the retail and service sectors, Phokasub said, to foster the expansion of the retail market and overall economic growth. 

Tareetip Wongsaengpaiboon, senior VP of Kasikorn Securities, predicted the majority of retailers are expected to maintain their investment programs, modernise their locations, and expand their businesses abroad this year.

Ek-Chai Distribution System, which operates the Lotus’s retail stores, recently opened the first of a new luxury hypermarket concept brand known as “Lotus’ Prive” at the mixed-use lifestyle development ICS. To support its expansion strategy for this year, Ek-Chai Distribution System also plans to increase its investment by 50 per cent to around US$330 million.

The newspaper also reported that Central Retail Corporation (CRC), one of the Thai giant retailers, wants to invest $828 million this year to increase its operations in Thailand and Vietnam.

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