Govt to help tourism operators after sharp drop in Chinese arrivals


BANGKOK – The government will find measures to support tourism operators, hard-hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry will convene a meeting with tourism operators on aid measures in the middle term and the long term on Feb 13 before the proposed measures will be forwarded to the next economic cabinet.

Tourism and Sports Minister, Pipat Ratchakitprakan disclosed that the number of Chinese tourists has dropped by 85 per cent from 30,000 to 3,000 people daily in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

It is projected the virus situation will cost more than 300 billion baht in losses to the tourism sector for the whole year.

The minister said if the new coronavirus situation prolongs, the country is likely to see a further drop in Chinese arrivals late this month.

If the situation returns to normal, the number of visitors is expected to rebound in the second half of this year and could double to offset the loss, incurred in the first quarter of this year.

He said omestic tourism will be promoted as well as other markets in ASEAN countries after tourist arrivals both from China and other countries are decreasing in the first quarter.  (TNA)