The Covid 19 pandemic has impacted the whole world in a very negative way, Thailand included. With restrictions on travelling in terms of closed borders and state of emergency in place, Thai people have been put in a difficult position with uncertain future due to the high dependency on the tourism industry.
Lock down – Businesses Closed!
Over the course of the past 5 months, Thailand has witnessed many unfortunate events. A large number of people have lost their jobs or had to close their business when the Covid 19 outbreak started and find another way to feed their families. Borders being closed and restrictions on business operations forced the majority of businesses to downsize in order to re-open and try to survive, while many weren’t able to restart their business after the lock down restrictions were lifted.
Quick reaction by the government
Thai government took the situation seriously from the very beginning and made necessary steps to successfully prevent the spread of Covid 19 virus. During the past few months, the situation got fairly under control, with no local transmissions in the last 78 days. Thailand has started to lift the restriction and slowly opened the country, with focus on the domestic economy. It’s fair to say that life in Thailand has returned to somewhat normal at this point, and the government has put efforts into promoting local tourism and traveling, in order to help boost the hospitality and tourism sector, that has been impacted the most.
Rise in Covid 19 cases – Borders Closed
The fact that foreign nationals are still not allowed to enter the Kingdom is of course negatively impacting the businesses. However, since Covid 19 cases started to increase in many countries that decided to open its borders, Thai people have a feeling that Thailand might have the same situation if the borders reopen, which could eventually lead to another lock down. In other words, again they would not be able to put food on the table for their families, therefore they prefer not to have any tourists, but rather keep the country safe from Covid virus. One of the recent events that caused the fear in the country, was Egyptian soldier who visited a shopping mall in the Rayong province and turned out to be positive for Covid 19. This caused the whole province to go into lock down, with hundreds of people being quarantined and tested for Covid 19 virus.
Foreigners Welcomed – Fear of New Lock Down
Recently, we’ve seen various news articles on Thai people preferring to keep the borders closed, that gave foreign nationals a feeling that they are not welcomed in Thailand anymore. This is of course not true as many Thai business depend on foreign tourists, however the perception of Thai people is, that it’s still better to have lesser income by depending on domestic tourism only, then to risk letting foreign nationals and tourists in to the country, and experience another lock down if the Covid cases start to rise. To put it differently, Thai people are simply prioritizing the well-being of their families over higher income.