The economic devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic on Thailand’s tourism and hospitality sectors has been inestimable, with foreign arrivals banned since March and hotels nationwide ordered shut in April. Some around the country have since re-opened but nearly 100 hotels on the tourist island of Koh Samui are now for sale.
The president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui says owners of close to 100 local hotels have announced plans put their hotels up for sale, because they lack cash flow and banks won’t lend bridging finance or loans to capitalise. He says their financial problems began late last year and increased in January, then the Covid-19 crisis struck them hard in February.
Some hotel owners have been unable to collect overdue payments from major tour agencies for months (like the TUI Group – read more HERE). Furthermore, during the temporary closure, owners have had no revenue but still had to pay salaries and other costs.
Due to the crisis it’s difficult for them to seek soft loans from banks to maintain their liquidity, according to the president, who says he’d like the government to “provide urgent help to hotel owners with soft loans before it is too late, because hoteliers are in deep financial trouble”.
“The impact is not only on Koh Samui but nationwide.”
After promising transparency, the government unanimously passed a 1.8 trillion baht stimulus package, designed to resuscitate an economy expected to contract for the first time since 2009, due to the ripple effects of the pandemic. The package includes soft loans for stricken businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.
SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times
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