More than a third of Thailand’s tourism-related businesses close down

Published on : Wednesday, January 27, 2021

As per a Tourism Authority of Thailand survey, conducted between January 10 – 12, more than a third of the country’s tourism-related businesses have already closed and gone out of business. However, industry players estimate that this number is much higher. In regions almost exclusively depending on tourism for an income – Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Gulf and Andaman islands and touristy areas around Bangkok – up to 90% of the front-line tourism businesses have shut down.

1,884 tourism businesses in Thailand were surveyed by the TAT about their current situations and how they tackling the long-term closure of the Thai borders and the local restrictions on travel. Businesses covered areas like accommodation, travel agents, tour companies, restaurants, car and bike rentals and public transport businesses. 34.7% of them said that they have already shut down or gone out of business.

The TAT and the Thai Minister of Tourism and Ports are now pondering over the industry that has not only diminished, but changed forever after decades of striking growth.

One long-term hotel manager in the south, who looks after 11 hotels in Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, said that they’ve had to dismiss almost all of their staff after “hanging in” over the past 9 months.

“We can no longer keep even a small number of rooms open without any hope of the borders opening up in the next few months. We’re finished. And even when they do start allowing tourists back into the country it would take us up to 6 months to get staff and maintenance ready again. I would say that 90% of tourism-related businesses are gone. And gone forever. A lot were small family businesses who had taken the punt and invested their savings into the booming tourism business down here. They’ll never return,” he said.

Last week, Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister claimed that 10 million tourists would start arriving in Thailand from the middle of this year. In 2019, almost 40 million overseas tourists visited Thailand.

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