BANGKOK, Feb 19 – Almost 100 per cent of Chinese tour groups per cent have disappeared from Thailand due to the Covid-19 outbreak, said tour operators, hoping it will be short-lived.
President of the Thai Chinese Tourism Alliance Association, Ronnarong Cheewinsiri-amnuay said as the death toll from the deadly virus reached over 2,000 in China and several tens of thousands Covid-19 cases were reported globally, more than 98 per cent of Chinese tour groups cancelled their trips to Thailand.
The rest were Free Independent Travelers (FIT), he said adding that now, tour operators and tourism associations adjusted themselves by adding more domestic tour programs.
Some tour companies have temporarily closed and pay half of monthly salary to their employees, he noted.
He said Covid-19 impacts are worse than severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and projected that it would last for 3-4 months.
The overall situation seems to improve but he was unsure the situation would normalize by mid-year.
He personally believed the impacts will last to the end of this year or to the next Chinese New Year and could cause a loss of at least 10 billion baht.
Although the government and tourism agencies are trying to find measures to alleviate the impacts, there should be talks to find the right direction and to create confidence for tour operators, he said.