– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on August 18, Tuesday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
At least 22 people, including eight foreigners, were killed and more than 120 wounded after a bomb exploded outside a religious shrine in central Bangkok on Monday evening in an attack the government called a bid to destroy the economy.
Thai authorities have launched an urgent investigation to determine who was behind the attack. So far, no one has claimed responsibility. The U.S. State Department said overnight that it was too soon to tell if the blast was a terrorist attack.
Paul Gambles, Co-founder MBMG Group, told CNBC via a phone interview that the attack poses a fresh threat for the country, which is already slowing amid weaker private consumption and investment growth.
[Paul Gambles Co-founder MBMG Group] "The place that would be the keenest to try to calm is to touch China, because that's the biggest going-tourists sector, the biggest number of tourists arrivals, so I think more than anywhere, I think thats where they need to do a bit of PR job at the moment."
According to data provided by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the country attracted 4.6 million Chinese visitors in 2014. The country predicts arrivals from mainland China will grow by 40% this year. The Chinese now account for one in every five tourists to the kingdom.
On Monday, Thailand reported that its GDP expanded 0.4% q-o-q, in April-June from the previous quarter.
The tourism sector, which accounts for about 10 percent of Thailand's gross domestic product (GDP), in particular is expected to suffer a blow from the incident as countries begin to issue travel warnings.
However, according to a report released by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in Thailand is actually twice as large as its direct contribution, taking indirect and induced income into account.
Thai stocks and the local currency slumped on Tuesday amid heightened uncertainty after deadly bomb blasts rocked the country's capital Bangkok late Monday.
The benchmark SET index opened down 2.7 percent, while the Thai baht fell to its weakest level in more than six years.
Kasem Prunratanamala, Head of Thailand Research at CIMB, told CNBC that the impact on the stock market should be limited.
[Kasem Prunratanamala, CIMB, Headm Thailand Research] "Generally, the drop of the stock market in the event like this, would be brief and rebound, should be quite fast. I hope this time, the rebound could be quite fast as well, if nothing of this happen again."
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.
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