Published on : Tuesday, February 18, 2020
With elephant parks unvisited, curios at markets unsold and tuk-tuks sitting idle, Southeast Asia is witnessing losses of billions of dollars due to a decline in Chinese tourism since the outbreak of corona virus.
From Luang Prabang in northern Laos to Pattaya in Thailand, Hoi An in Vietnam and the Cambodian casino town of Sihanoukville, tourism revenue has plummeted with Chinese travelers facing restriction due to travel bans at home and abroad.
Tour guides, mall workers and restaurant staff are all feeling the burn as Chinese, who are considered the world’s biggest travelers are staying at home due to the recent global health crisis.
Thailand is feeling the slump sharply. Tourism authorities have said that arrivals from China that is usually close to one million a month have plunged by 90 percent so far this February.
The outbreak has also put off western tourists at the height of peak season, bringing in a tough period for Thai tourism.
Tourism in Cambodia is also seeing a slump.
Ticket sales at the renowned Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap have fallen between 30 and 40 percent this year, while in Sihanoukville, a southern beach resort notorious for its casinos, tourist numbers have shrunken.
However, with 10 million Chinese visitors each year, Thailand hopes that the pain will ease in a few months.