Ashley Nault - May 11, 2020
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The Thai Tourism Board is preparing to launch the "We Love Thailand" campaign to boost domestic tourism after the situation normalizes.

The chairman of the council, Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, said they were working in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

"This campaign will help promote new local products and attractions, especially those involving tourist communities," he said.

He also said domestic tourism is to be promoted for one to two years. Especially until the market regains the confidence of foreign tourists.

Initially, visitors from China, South Korea and Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) are expected to return to Thailand. "Thailand will need Chinese tourists as it gets back on its feet," he added.

"When the situation becomes safe again, the Chinese will return to Thailand, because our country is close by."

According to a report, up to six million people are expected to lose their jobs in the tourism sector because of Covid-19. Reports from the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce indicate that unemployment will affect millions of people in the tourism sector in Thailand, the key industry that accounts for 21% of the country's GDP.

"Thailand's tourism sector has weathered many shocks in the past. Including natural disasters and political instability," according to the UN report. "However, there may be new sources of risk that need to be addressed."

The report states that the magnitude of the current socio-economic shocks resulting from the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in recent history.

International tourist arrivals in January and February dropped to 5.9 million compared to 7.3 million in the same months of the previous year.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, revenues fell from 381 million Baht to 293 million Baht, a drop of more than 23 %.

From January to March alone, 139,000 people in the tourism sector have already lost their jobs, mainly those working in the hospitality sector.

The number of unemployed could even reach 10 million if the pandemic does not subside by the end of June, the Thai Commerce University report warns.

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