Thailand Tourism, the most hurt by China Coronavirus Crisis

China, Thailand, coronavirus

Chinese tourists at Erawan shrine on Tuesday (Bangkok Post)

Thailand tourism could lose up to two million tourists from China estimated the Tourism Authority of Thailand, especially as individual Chinese travellers are now discouraged by the China government to travel both domestically and internationally. 

They were close to 11 million Chinese visitors to Thailand in 2019. They could be only 9 million of them in 2020 as the coronavirus epidemic continues to claim victims. Revenues from tourism could go down by an estimated US$2.7 to 3.5 billion.

On Tuesday, the total number of deaths passed for the first time the symbolic 100-mark with 106 victims, all in China. China recorded another 4,515 cases of the virus in the country while worldwide, there were 4,573 cases recorded. The countries and regions outside China with the most cases are Hong Kong and Thailand with eight ill patients, followed by Australia and Macau with five cases each and Singapore and Malaysia with four cases each.

All ASEAN countries took new measures such as screening passengers for any flights arriving in Singapore or disinfection of all public places including malls and public transport in Thailand.

The Kingdom is moving swiftly to balance the expected losses from Chinese tourism and reassure other travellers that Thailand remains safe for a holiday.

The government is looking to launch stimulus measures by next month to sustain the economic downturn, especially for the hotel and tourism industry. This could include cashback for tourists doing shopping or discount in hotels and restaurants. The suspension of visa on arrival fees could be further extended. Loans would also be eventually provided to tourism businesses.

In an interview with the Bangkok Post, Supawan Tanomkieatipume, President of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said that before the outbreak Thailand’s hotels averaged 50% occupancy. Of this, the share of Chinese guests was as high as 50% during the peak season. The THA expects now that advance bookings for February will plunge 30%.