30,000 tour guides lose jobs as tourist numbers dive

MONDAY, MARCH 02, 2020

At least 30,000 tour guides nationwide have lost their jobs after the number of tourists nosedived by 80-90 per cent amid concern over the Covid-19 coronavirus, Tourism Council of Thailand president Jarupol Rueangket said after a 2020 Annual General Meeting. The effects of the Covid-19 outbreak will further slow down tourism in the country, he warned.

Some countries have cautioned tourists to be careful when travelling to Thailand, while a few have prohibited visits to the kingdom, Jarupol said.

Most tour guides do not have other jobs, making their life difficult as they bear day-to-day expenses, and most don’t have any backup plan either, he added.

Jarupol said the council will compile proposals for the government to help solve problems and find a source of low-interest loans for tourist guides.

He admitted that in 40 years of being a tour guide, this year after the Covid-19 outbreak has witnessed the most impact on the profession.

He believes that if the coronavirus situation does not improve after 3-6 months, almost all tour guides will find themselves jobless.