A Chiang Rai luxury hotel is going the route of many resorts, turning their business into state quarantine centers for the trickle of foreign tourists starting to arrive in Thailand this month.
Ruangchai Jitsakul, managing director of the Wiang Inn Riverside Hotel next to Mae Kok River in Muang District, said Chiang Rai has a dearth of quarantine facilities. The province has had about 700 Thais and Burmese expats return from abroad.
The government only pays quarantine hotels 1,000 baht a day for each person, which includes three meals. But even that small amount of revenue is more than hotel is getting now, he said.
The resort is spread over 80 rai outside Muang Chiang Rai and has nine stand-alone buildings, which are conducive to quarantine facilities.
The hotel will remain open for regular tourists, he said.
Ruangchai, a local car dealer, also owns the Wiang Inn Downtown Hotel in Chiang Rai which has just opened for tourists after being closed for months.
“Usually, my hotels targeted 80 percent foreigners and 20 percent Thais,” he said. “So, we have been really affected. Hotel owners having not much money are definitely facing serious problems. I accept that now we don’t see a way out because this crisis is worse than the economic crisis in 1997.”