Tourism Minister meets tourism sector on virus prevention measures


BANGKOK –– The Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn today discussed the impacts of the novel coronavirus on tourism with concerned operators.

The Minister met representatives of tourism-related operators including hoteliers, tour guides and tour companies.

They were informed that they must watch closely customers from risk areas and especially the tourists who had visited China in the past 14 days. Ill customers must be sent to hospitals right away, Mr Phiphat said.

According to him, most of tourists from Wuhan city already left the country. The novel coronavirus outbreak would cut the number of Chinese visitors from the Chinese New Year to April by about 1.89 million, or 70% of all Chinese visitors.

Their absence would mean the country would lose its tourism-related income by about 94 billion baht, the minister said. He hoped that Indian and ASEAN visitors could help alleviate the situation.

He proposed the government support the liquidity and marketing campaigns of affected tour operators. The proposal would reach the cabinet on Jan 31, Mr Phiphat said.