Thailand loses two million tourism jobs to Covid-19

Thailand lost two million jobs in the tourism industry to the Covid-19 pandemic so far amid a near-total collapse of tourism, of them 400,000 in the first quarter of 2021 and 550,000 in the second quarter this year, according to figures by the Tourism Council of Thailand.

The figures skyrocketed after the third infection wave struck in April and raged unabated through the end of June without signs of subsiding.

The outbreak has shut 36 per cent of tourism businesses temporarily and four per cent permanently until now, council president Chamnan Srisawat said in a media briefing on June 29.

Hotel occupancy rates dropped to ten per cent in the second quarter from 20 per cent in the first quarter, and tourism confidence hit a record low in the current quarter, a survey by the council showed.

The country’s most severe outbreak so far started in April and has badly hit domestic spending and travel in the absence of foreign visitors.

Phuket opening as a pilot project

The industry is hoping the planned opening of the resort island of Phuket to vaccinated visitors on July 1, a pilot project, would bring in some foreign tourists.

However, arrivals this year are expected to be a fraction of the nearly 40 million foreign visitors in 2019 before the pandemic, he said.

“Most tourism operators only have cash flow for up to six months. If the outbreak cannot be controlled and the economy does not get better by then, more businesses will be closed down,” Chamnan said.

Informal labour force not counted

Observers say the number of those who lost their jobs in tourism must be even higher since Thailand always had a huge grey scope of informal tourism workers in various areas, but statistics for this are hard to come by.

Given that tourism used to contribute over 20 per cent to Thailand’s GDP pre-pandemic and the country has an active official labour force of 38.5 million and an estimated 20 million informal labourers, real unemployment in the sector is likely significantly higher than the official figures show.



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Thailand lost two million jobs in the tourism industry to the Covid-19 pandemic so far amid a near-total collapse of tourism, of them 400,000 in the first quarter of 2021 and 550,000 in the second quarter this year, according to figures by the Tourism Council of Thailand. The figures skyrocketed after the third infection wave struck in April and raged unabated through the end of June without signs of subsiding. The outbreak has shut 36 per cent of tourism businesses temporarily and four per cent permanently until now, council president Chamnan Srisawat said in a media briefing on June 29....

Thailand lost two million jobs in the tourism industry to the Covid-19 pandemic so far amid a near-total collapse of tourism, of them 400,000 in the first quarter of 2021 and 550,000 in the second quarter this year, according to figures by the Tourism Council of Thailand.

The figures skyrocketed after the third infection wave struck in April and raged unabated through the end of June without signs of subsiding.

The outbreak has shut 36 per cent of tourism businesses temporarily and four per cent permanently until now, council president Chamnan Srisawat said in a media briefing on June 29.

Hotel occupancy rates dropped to ten per cent in the second quarter from 20 per cent in the first quarter, and tourism confidence hit a record low in the current quarter, a survey by the council showed.

The country’s most severe outbreak so far started in April and has badly hit domestic spending and travel in the absence of foreign visitors.

Phuket opening as a pilot project

The industry is hoping the planned opening of the resort island of Phuket to vaccinated visitors on July 1, a pilot project, would bring in some foreign tourists.

However, arrivals this year are expected to be a fraction of the nearly 40 million foreign visitors in 2019 before the pandemic, he said.

“Most tourism operators only have cash flow for up to six months. If the outbreak cannot be controlled and the economy does not get better by then, more businesses will be closed down,” Chamnan said.

Informal labour force not counted

Observers say the number of those who lost their jobs in tourism must be even higher since Thailand always had a huge grey scope of informal tourism workers in various areas, but statistics for this are hard to come by.

Given that tourism used to contribute over 20 per cent to Thailand’s GDP pre-pandemic and the country has an active official labour force of 38.5 million and an estimated 20 million informal labourers, real unemployment in the sector is likely significantly higher than the official figures show.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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