Footage shows an airport in Bangkok, Thailand today (July 14) with the departure area almost deserted following the tightening of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Domestic carriers cancelled hundreds of flights around the country after ministers announced a 9pm – 4am curfew last Friday (July 9). They also introduced checkpoints around the capital to ‘discourage interprovincial travel’ following a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases to almost 10,000 a day.
The measures, which will be reviewed after two weeks, lead to airlines and bus companies cancelling many of their services. Retail shops were also forced to close, adding to the hit on the Thai economy which is already struggling from a lack of tourists since the pandemic erupted last March.
Economists have warned that it could be another five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels.
Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen.
Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.