Businesses abandoned as Covid-19 decimates tourism industry in Bangkok

Hundreds of businesses were boarded up and closed today (July 27) in Bangkok with the country's tourism industry crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Footage from the Sukhumvit Road - once the busiest destination in the country for holidaymakers - shows deserted bars, restaurants, shops and hotels.

Thailand closed its borders to tourists on March 22 as cases of Covid-19 exploded - a ban that has remained in force ever since.

Military chiefs have prevented the virus from taking hold in the country, with no local transmissions for 63 days, and the country being chosen by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for a documentary on successfully controlling the pandemic.

Strict rules on face masks, social distancing and tracing remain in place to limit the risks of a second wave of cases.

However, Economists fear the impact on the tourism industry - accounting for up to 20 per cent of GDP - could be severe.

The World Bank predicted that the Thai economy would need at least two years to recover from the recession and would also require significant government stimulus.

Tourism industry leaders are now pushing for 'travel bubbles' with neighbouring countries such as China in order to boost travel spending.

Tassapon Bijleveld, executive chairman of Asia Aviation (AAV), said support from the government is crucial for airline businesses.

The airline chief said Thailand should start a travel bubble programme with China by imposing strict measures to persuade tourists and locals.

Tanit Sorat, vice-chairman of the Employers' Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry (EconThai), said businesses will depend more on technologies that not only help them better manage budget but also keep them in line with higher hygienic standards.

Ministers said that as of July 27, the total number of confirmed cases in the country is 3,295 and 58 deaths. Returning Thai nationals or residents are forced into state quarantine for two weeks.

There are more than 16.4 million cases worldwide and 652,000 deaths.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin from Thailand's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) warned that some countries in Asia, such as India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Singapore where daily cases are increasing in hundreds and thousands.

He urged Thai residents to remain on high alert and continue following social distancing and face mask guidelines.

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By: NewsFlare (94599.00)

Tags: news, businesses affected due to covid-19, lockdown, tourism industry

Location: Bangkok