Thailand is gaining advantage on the international reopening for travellers as other tourist destinations in Asia remain shut from the severe Covid-19 situation. JP Morgan has given its positive outlook on the Thai tourism industry for the upcoming resumption of the Test & Go scheme.
JP Morgan wrote in its analysis that international tourism-related stocks in the Thai stock market have an average gain of +5% in the last month, compared to the SET Index that remained flat.
The outperformance in the sector has been driven by the announcement of the Thai government to resume the Test & Go scheme that was temporarily halted not long after the omicron outbreak.
Thailand, last week, decided to resume the Test and Go scheme for vaccinated travellers. Registrations will reopen on February 1, with 2 RT-PCR tests required on the first and fifth days following arrival. The scheme will exempt fully-vaccinated travellers from a quarantine.
Given proactive policies and Thailand’s attraction as a leisure destination, JP Morgan stated that it thinks the country will lead the cross-border travel recovery in the region and was bullish on international reopening. In JP Morgan’s point of view, the resumption of the Test & Go scheme may lead Thailand to gain market share during this summer and have strong momentum into 2023 while other tourism destinations in Asia such as Japan, Vietnam etc. remain shut.
The main focus for the return of travellers would be in the western markets as Chinese tourists, Thailand’s top tourist arrivals pre-Covid, remain frozen. JP Morgan pointed out that the enquiries to western geography focused agencies could reach up to 80% of 2019 levels by the end of 2022.
In addition, JP Morgan estimated around 25% recovery in international PAX (the number of passengers carried by an airline) in 2022 from 2019 levels. THe firm recommended Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (SET: AOT), Minor International Public Company Limited (SET: MINT) and Central Pattana Public Company Limited (SET: CPN) as its top picks and added Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (SP: THBEV) into the mix.