Up to 2.7 million Thai travel, hospitality and tourism workers unemployed by September

PHOTO: New Straits Times

The president of the Thai Tourism Industry Council says confidence among Thailand’s tourism business operators fell to the lowest level in a decade during the second quarter this year, with about 2.6 million workers already unemployed and about another 100,000 expected to be laid off in Q3 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The gloomy forecast is the result of a survey of 770 tourism business operators between May 10 – 25.

He acknowledged that the sector has been hard hit by government lockdown measures enacted to stem the spread of the contagion, the closure of many business and leisure activities. The impacts caused domestic tourism to contract by about 99%, “because all tourist destinations were closed and there are no foreign tourists at all”. Although the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s ban on international arrivals was officially lifted today, foreign tourists are still effectively prohibited.

Tourism operators are more confident about a slight improvement in Q3, as the government has eased most domestic restrictions, and there is anticipation that as many as 400,000 foreigners will visit or return to Thailand in specific categories, generating revenues estimated about 20 billion baht, but still 96% lower than average.

“Unless Thailand opens its borders to allow foreign tourists to enter the country again the future will be even bleaker, because most of the sector’s businesses have no cash flow and no access to funding.”

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SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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