Tourism firms request aid during lockdown

Tourism firms request aid during lockdown

Tourism businesses are asking for financial support during the new partial lockdown, which poses another hurdle for the long-suffering industry, while Thai AirAsia halts all domestic routes from July 10-30.

Thai AirAsia was the first local airline to announce temporary suspensions on domestic routes, in accordance with travel restrictions yesterday.

Thai Vietjet reported it plans to reduce domestic seat capacity by 30-50%, though it is maintaining service routes.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association, said the chance to welcome foreign visitors from the Phuket sandbox scheme has been stymied as travellers who complete a 14-day stay on the island may skip Bangkok due to the latest restrictions.

The hotel business is already suffering from a ban on dining at restaurants, meetings and seminars, she said.

"Even if there's no order to close hotels, business is already moribund," Mrs Marisa said. "It is like going back to zero over and over again the past 16 months. Some of us already gave up."

She suggested the government mandate hotel closures, which means staff are eligible to receive financial aid of up to 7,500 baht from the Social Security Fund for 90 days.

The sluggish pace of vaccination rollouts should be fixed immediately, said Association of Domestic Travel president Thanapol Cheewarattanaporn.

He said the government has to conduct active Covid-19 testing in every community and district, expanding the capacity limit and offering rapid test kits for household use so people do not have to queue up all night, which means higher risk of exposure to the virus.

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