Bangkok – Two million jobs in the tourism industry are now at risk from the new wave of COVID-19, while the latest tourism industry confidence index is unusually low, as businesses brace themselves for worse to come.
The Thailand Tourism Confidence Index for Q4 2020 measured by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) has been declared at a lower than normal 62 points, below the medium level of 100, despite showing a slight improvement from Q3 thanks to the government’s economic stimulation measures.
Most of the tourism businesses surveyed, some 85%, continue to operate despite having few customers. Half of the operating businesses have reduced their number of employees by 30-40%, while employees in the industry have had their wages cut by 20-30%.
The recently announced tourism confidence index for Q1 2021 has seen a drop to an unusually low 53 points due to businesses’ concerns about the new wave of COVID-19 cases.
TCT President Chamnan Srisawat, said that the resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases could result in two million people losing their jobs as businesses no longer have sufficient funds to maintain employment, creating a scenario which poses a threat to the country’s economy.
He urged the government to introduce more tourism promotional measures, provide more financial support, and create a Tourism Labor Bank for people furloughed or losing their jobs.
The proposed Tourism Labor Bank will allow terminated employees to seek job opportunities in similar careers or others, as well as allowing employers to find talent according to their needs.
Mr Chamnan has also asked the government to help reduce the financial burden faced by tourism businesses, by co-paying the wages of Social Security registered employees, providing soft loans, and offering a 2-year loan deferment program to help tourism businesses survive through the crisis. (NNT)