As is the case in many popular tourist spots in Thailand, the economy in the southern province of Krabi has been decimated due to Covid-19. Nation Thailand reports that tourist numbers in Krabi have fallen sharply, from a yearly average of 6 million to just 1.5 million last year. Revenue from tourism has plummeted from around 120 billion baht to 29 billion.
Krabi local, Amarit Siripornjutagun, who runs the Ruen Mai restaurant in Krabi town, says that just as he was thinking the worst was behind him, the second Covid-19 outbreak hit the country. The resurgence of the virus means he now has 80% fewer customers.
“There was hope when we saw some tourists return to Krabi after the first outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand. But my businesses have suffered again from this second outbreak.”
Amarit has managed to retain all his staff, despite the financial pressures he is facing, but says he will have to reduce their hours if things don’t improve this month. He is calling on the government to provide soft loans during the Covid-19 resurgence, in addition to social security assistance.
Meanwhile, Krabi mayor, Keeratisak Phukaoluan, believes there is light at the end of the tunnel and that eventually, the province will double its tourist numbers. He says the development of Krabi airport, and the provision of parking bays for 30 jet airliners, will increase the province’s status as a tourism hub, in line with the neighbouring provinces of Phuket and Phang Nga.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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