Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

New normal will slow recovery

Thailand’s tourism and hospitality sectors face a loss of THB1.69 trillion this year and recovery may not be clearly evident in 2021 according to a report by Kasikorn Research Centre.

Strict new normal realities will apply as government measures are maintained to control the entry and exit of foreign tourists to prevent further outbreaks of the virus.

The impact of Covid-19 on travel demand and the weak purchasing power of tourists suggest tourism will not be able to recover during 2020, Kasikorn Research Centre predicted in its analysis.

“Even in 2021, recovery will probably not return… Therefore it will be a difficult period for businesses in the chain of the tourism sector.”

Until a vaccine is found, tourism and hospitality operators will need to adjust their services and the content they offer to ensure they deliver safe distancing and comply with strict health measures.

Health regulations will dictate the travel experience.  Touchpoints will have to be removed as much as possible. Safe distancing will need to be practised at popular tourist spots as well as when travelling or staying in hotels or transferring to and from airports.

Going forward, safe distancing and other strict measures could dampen travel demand. Tour operators will face the challenge of offering safe bus transportation throughout Thailand guaranteeing social distancing, which will be required on land tour buses and transfers. This could increase the cost of transfers and tours as more buses will be required to transfer tour groups.

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