The Thai tourism council has reported that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus is severely effecting the tourism industry. Tourism operators need more assistance from the government, according to their council.
Members of the Tourism Council of Thailand discussed the impacts and possible solution in Bangkok, yesterday.
TCT chairman Chairat Trirattanajarasporn said the impacts of the novel coronavirus were the worst compared other disasters. “This time, tourism has plummeted and the impact of the virus is effecting all corners of the tourism sector”.
Normally hotels with 700-800 rooms would be fully booked at this time of the year but now the booking is zero. Also impacted are coach operators and workers in the sector,” he said.
The impacts started when China stopped its outbound tours and they are growing. Chinese people form the biggest group of visitors to Thailand, TNA reports.
To cope, tourism-related operators would have to take good care of remaining tourists. Even more find new markets to compensate for the absence of Chinese visitors.
He acknowledged government assistance through tax and lending measures but said that they would only partially help tourism operators. A moratorium on loan interest payment would be the best assistance for tourism operators, he said.
Thai Tourism operators suffering all over Thailand
Meanwhile, Tourism operators and university scholars have said that anxiety over the virus may lead some people to avoid interacting with Chinese tourists. However they should not let this affect their friendliness and hospitality.
In Chiang Mai more than 700 Chinese-language tour guides are now without a job. More than 300 tour buses are on lay-by. I want the government to help because there is no income,” he said.
From Chiang Mai’s Night Safari to Chiang Rai’s Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), restaurants, souvenir shops and even street stalls, a daily average of 2,000 Chinese visitors has disappeared, Manop Sae-Jia, chairman of Chiang Mai-based Tourist Guides Club, said.
Chinese group tours to Chiang Mai are now 100% gone,” he said. Referring to the impact of Beijing’s ban on outbound group tours.
Hoteliers in Chiang Mai and Pattaya are losing badly due to cancellations. While 2,000 tourist guides in the North are watching to see what happens next.
Like Chiang Mai, all tourism-related businesses in Phuket are also affected. With a dive in hotel guests and bus drivers left unemployed. More than 300 tour buses in Phuket have been standing idle for more than a week now.
Chinese tourists in Phuket are also worried about the outbreak. Saying the health impact alone is disastrous, not to mention its economic aspect.