Chiang Mai’s economic losses to reach 100 billion baht due to Covid-19 pandemic

Chiang Mai’s economic losses are estimated to reach 100 billion baht after Covid-19 ravaged the city’s tourism industry. The Bangkok Post reports that Varodom Pitakanonda, the president of The Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, says the city’s revenue from tourists “contracted severely this year due to the coronavirus”.

“Now, we are pinning our hopes on government stimulus packages to salvage the ailing economy. Spending dropped in all categories of products, especially in the service, commodities and automobiles sectors, with tourism being to slowest to begin to recover.”

The northern city’s tourism industry has been battered by border closures and travel bans. Once a favourite for Chinese travellers, the lack of tourists has heavily impacted all businesses downstream in the tourism industry.

Varodom says the One University, One Tambon project would help cut unemployment among workers and recent university graduates as well as several measures being implemented to help the economy from now until 2021. Such measures include attracting more domestic tourists to the area and neighbouring provinces as well as long-stay medical tourists to the city’s international-standard hospitals to develop Chiang Mai into a “medicopolis.” Another avenue that could bring in more revenue would see the city offering Alternative Local Quarantine (ALQ) facilities to welcome back foreign tourists with a Special Tourist Visa.

However, delays and first phase procedures could further hamper the already limited number of tourists entering under the special visa as current restrictions only allow 400 tourists per day. Further muddying the outlook is the debt-trodden airline industry which is seeing almost 5 million jobs threatened, according to the Air Transport Action Group.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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