Due to COVID-19, this Thai tour operator is playing the waiting game

“My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

When she first heard the news about COVID-19, tour operator Natt Opasanon was nervous, but not too nervous.

“In the back of my head, I still thought ‘Hey, it’s probably gonna last maybe three months,’” said Opasanon, who runs Your Thai Guide in Bangkok, Thailand. “But well, six months passed, [and] we still have not opened our country properly. So I was wrong.”

Tourism is considered a huge part of Thailand’s economy. According to a Mastercard survey, in 2019 Bangkok had more international visitors than any other city in the world.

But COVID-19 has left Thailand’s tourism industry in a standstill. And while the Thai government has loosened some restrictions on international travel, for operators like Opasanon, it may not be enough.

“From what we see on the news, we don’t think everything will be close to normal within this year,” said Opasanon. “It might be back to normal maybe in the middle of next year, which is going to be another six more months. So it’s started getting to a worry point.”

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