PHUKET: Stakeholders have been urged to help restore the economy of popular tourist destination Phuket after figures revealed it had lost more than 400 million baht since the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Bangkok Post reported that the island was suffering a severe crisis after tourists began staying away following the implementation of the travel ban introduced to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Phuket governor Narong Woonciew said the island usually saw about 14 million tourists a year, of which 10 million were foreigners arriving on 300 flights daily.
“This has slumped to just 81 flights a day and tens of thousands of domestic visitors at an estimated annual rate.”
He said about 40,000 workers had lost their jobs, while those still employed saw 20 to 90 per cent loss of income, with only about 30 per cent of hotels still open.
“Phuket is like a patient in a coma in the ICU. So all stakeholders need to help restore Phuket as quickly as possible,” Narong said.
He said the resort province was set to launch several packages to attract local and foreign tourists.
He said next year, the situation might be the same, so the government could help by organising seminars to draw more people to the province.”
“So far, the province has invited 15,000 village health volunteers in the south to travel and spend time in the province.”
Public Health Association president Prapat Thamwongsa said a forum called Step to New Normal in Primary Health Care was a chance to share ideas to tackle future challenges and improve people’s understanding of how to prevent the virus from spreading.
Research presentations, competitions and award ceremonies had been organised in the public health field, he said.
He said district and regional public health clinics also play a key role in the promotion of quality health, disease prevention and application of first aid.
© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd