PHUKET – The impact of the spread of the coronavirus is going well beyond, hotels, airlines and cruise ships.
Those who work downstream in the tourism sector, tour guides, taxi drivers and souvenir shops and the like, are also suffering.
In Phuket, the plunge in Chinese tourists had left some 3,000 Chinese-speaking tour guides without work.
There are about 7,000 tour guides registered to work in Phuket. Of those, an estimated 3,000 are qualified and registered to lead tours in Chinese language.
These are the guides most affected by the loss of Chinese tourists and their chances of turning to other work – such as taxi driving – are slim in the uncertain current environment.
In Bali, tour guides have been given a lifeline after the Indonesian government granted extended stay visas to about 5,000 Chinese tourists stranded on the island by the Indonesian government's decision to halt flights to and from mainland China.