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.