1 Million Tourism Job Losses Feared in Thailand

The continued Covid-19 pandemic and the failure of measures to encourage more tourists could see a further 1 million job losses in the tourism sector in Thailand in the first quarter of 2021.

The Tourism Council of Thailand will today put forward proposals to the Thai government to try and alleviate the number of future job losses. It is thought that the country has already seen 1 million job losses in the sector.

The proposals will include a 50% co-pay scheme to help businesses retain workers, cuts to utility bills, loans and a two-year debt moratoria. It is hoped that the measures could see as many as 800,000 people retain their jobs.

“We don’t want to leave these people. When COVID-19 is over, tourists will definitely return, so please help us survive for a while, maybe for three months.”

Chamnan Srisawat, President Tourism Council of Thailand

It is hoped that tourism could start its recovery in the second half of 2021, especially if the current quarantine restrictions, seen by many as the key factor in preventing more tourists visiting the country, are lifted.

Thailand currently predicts around 5 million foreign tourists during 2021, the target for 2020 was 40 million pre-pandemic. The Association of Thai Travel Agents(ATTA) however thinks that could be doubled if quarantine requirements are removed from vaccinated travellers.

“If tourists can return with no quarantine, we will definitely see 10 million this year. If not, even if we let them in free of charge, nobody will come.”

Vichit Prakobgosol, President Association of Thai Travel Agents(ATTA).

Thailand has coped well with the Covid-19 pandemic keeping numbers of infections and deaths very low. An outbreak just before Christmas centred on the fish markets in Samut Sakhon resulted in the largest outbreak in the country so far, spreading to Bangkok and many other regions in the country.

Thailand has so far recorded 14,646 cases of Covid-19, including a 959 cases in the last 24 hours, and 75 fatalities.

Source: Reuters

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