BANGKOK—Thailand’s ruling military eased its curfew to minimize the impact on the public and tourism, as some industry groups and foreign investors expressed optimism the junta will work quickly to reverse the Thai economy’s slide after months of political gridlock.

The ruling military said it was shortening its overnight curfew to four hours, from midnight to 4 a.m., six days after seizing power May 22. The relaxation came after state tourism officials reported a 20% fall in the number of visitors in recent days at a meeting with Adm. Narong Pipatanasai, commander of the Royal Thai Navy, who oversees tourism and social ministries. 

The military’s curfew has hurt consumer spending, as shops, malls and gas stations were forced to close early.