Businesses that have been battered by the Covid-19 outbreak, especially those in the Eastern Economic Corridor (straddling Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao provinces) that rely mainly on tourism, are in desperate need of support. But the vice chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce says it’s still too early to predict when tourism will recover, as it largely relies on arrivals from China.

Phuket airport when delayed in a surprise reversal, The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has announced the postponement of the reopening of Phuket International Airport, indefinitely. Just yesterday they announced that the provincial airport was to re-open from tomorrow morning.

A meeting this weekend, chaired by the director-general of the Department of Disease Control and secretary to the Covid-19 Center for Situation Administration, discussed suggestions and assessments of businesses ready to reopen, which will be forwarded to the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha for consideration early in the week.

As Thailand starts to open doors and get people back to work again, the Department of Airports director general has announced the opening of 14 airports across Thailand.  But the airline industry, basically grounded over the past month, has a long road ahead. From the start of May, only 32 domestic flight routes will be allowed to operate under the supervision of the department.

The owners of entertainment establishments in Pattaya held a meeting at the city’s Hollywood Club on Saturday to exchange ideas on appropriate safety measures to implement as part of a future re-opening. For now, all bars and clubs around Thailand are closed until further notice as part of measures in place to prevent a re-ignition of new cases of the Covid-19 virus.

AirAsia, has sent out an email to customers laying down a detailed list of new requirements for early-adopters in the post-covid regional travel world. It doesn’t look like a lot of fun, but there will at least be a means for airlines, airline staff, and passengers, to again take to the skies over Thailand. And eventually, the region and beyond.

With a dozen or more airlines, including national flag carrier Thai Airways suspending flights or completely grounding their fleets due to the Covid-19 crisis, there is a ray of sunshine. AirAsia is set to resume domestic flights, starting with the home base in Malaysia on April 29, followed by Thailand and the Philippines on May 1, India on May 4 and Indonesia on May 7, subject to approval from local authorities.

After PM Prayut-cha-0-cha sent an open letter to the county’s 20 wealthiest people seeking advice to help lift Thailand out of the Covid-19 pandemic , today Thailand’s top business leaders said they’re ready to help the government ease the crunch of the coronaviruscrisis, and will offered their ideas to lift the country out of its economic dilemma.

Recovery of international routes will depend on how quickly a vaccine or antiviral drugs can be made available. The president of Airports of Thailand, Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, says air travel should be back to pre-Covid19 levels by October 2021.

Thailand’s travel and tourism industry directly contributes an estimated 12-14% of GDP, while the expanded and informal contribution is likely at 20% or slightly above. More important to the percentage is that tourism is the face of the country that is now the second largest economy in Southeast Asia. The Thai smile is a global icon and symbol of the national character.

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