COVID-19 has hit tourism, but no cause for worry: Thai official

Cultural exchange: The Thailand Street Festival is on at Corona Garden in Bandra (West).

Cultural exchange: The Thailand Street Festival is on at Corona Garden in Bandra (West).   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Country is taking steps to prevent infection, says director of tourism authority

The outbreak of COVID-19 had affected the tourism industry in Thailand and the country is taking efficient measures to keep citizens and tourists safe, said Deputy Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chattan Kunjara, in Mumbai on Friday.

Mr. Kunjara interacted with The Hindu at the Thailand Street Festival, which is on at Corona Garden in Bandra (West) till Saturday.

“Thailand has seen a considerable decrease in tourists from east Asia, including China, South Korea and Hong Kong. Official data shows that people have been hesitating to visit Thailand due to the sudden and massive outbreak of coronavirus. Tour organisers have let us know that people who had made reservations for Thailand are either postponing their dates or are going to a different location. However, no decrease in Indian tourists has been seen,” he said.

Thailand, Mr. Kunjara said, was taking various measures to identify infectants at airports and getting them treated at the earliest. The country has not seen any new case in the past five days and authorities have been successful in treating patients, he said. “We are constantly issuing instructions and guidelines for people to prevent infection.”

Mr. Kunjara said none of the tourist destinations were closed in Thailand and people could be seen everywhere on the streets.

“Stringent measures are being taken on flights and in airports. Every visitor is checked by thermal camera surveillance. Hand gels, sanitisers and face masks are available at various places in airports as well as outside. We are trying to build confidence so that people can visit all the places without fear,” the deputy governor said. Thai New Year will be celebrated from April 13 to 15 on a grand scale, he said.

Cholada Siddhivarn, director, western and southern India, Tourism Authority of Thailand, said they have 35 positive coronavirus cases and have cured 15 people till date. “While the tourism industry is seeing a setback, we look towards India as a saviour of the tourism industry. Last year, there was a huge increase in the number of tourists as well as the revenue generated from them and therefore, India remains a strong market for us. Indians in Thailand are celebrating marriages without fear. No Indian has been infected in Thailand till date, and we will remain consistent in working for the safety of tourists until we are confident that everything is fine,” Ms. Siddhivarn said.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 2:03:42 AM |

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