Dr Chayanon Pucharoen, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the PSU Phuket Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, presented his figures at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall attended by Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana on Tuesday (Apr 28).
Joining Dr Chayanon in making his presentation was Assoc Prof Pun Thongchumnum, Vice President of PSU Phuket campus.
Last month, Dr Chayanon explained that Phuket may lose around B70bn and if the spread of the virus was not contained by the end of April, and that the total cost of fallout could reach as much as B100bn in March.
“If the spread of the virus is not contained by the end of April, the damage maybe rise to as much as B100bn,” Dr Chayanon explained at the time.
“Our initial research estimated that Phuket could lose up to B127bn in tourism revenues from February to July as a result of the virus outbreak,” Dr Chayanon told The Phuket News.
That same figure was relayed to Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who also serves as the Public Health Minister, as well as to Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakan and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn when the three arrived in Phuket to be updated on the COVID situation on the island on Apr 23.
However, now with solid figures to revise his research, the economic fallout may be much worse, Dr Chayanaon explained to The Phuket News.
The situation right now is likely to far exceed the worst case scenario of Phuket losing up to B127bn in lost revenues to the outbreak and restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the virus, he said.
According to research by the faculty, Phuket lost an estimated B20.642bn in February in revenues across the island – some B5bn more than initial estimates.
In March, that figure blew out to B31.432bn, Dr Chayanon said.
Lost revenues for April are expected to reach B31.94bn, before falling to an estimated B17.174bn in May and B16.614bn in June.
Lost revenues forecast for July at this stage are expected to fall to B9.354bn, he explained.
“Revenues lost due to the outbreak for February through July are already expected to reach B127.159bn. The situation has become worse than we expected, especially considering the impact the virus has had in European countries and on the American continent,” Dr Chayanon said.
According to the new data, the economic impact in Phuket for April alone is now estimated to be around B31.943bn, as follows:
- Accommodation – B9.54bn
- Food & Beverage – B7.403bn
- Shopping – B5.581bn
- Entertainment operators – B2.969bn
- Local Transport – B2.495bn
- Sightseeing – B2.044bn
- Miscellaneous – B1.91bn
Dr Chayanon declined to give a revised “worst case scenario” taken into account the new figures now factored into his forecast.
“Right now I can’t estimate the worst case impact on Phuket because it depends on many factors and the situation around the world,” he said.
Dr Chayanon did make plain his opinion that while the economic impact was of grave concern, containing the spread of the virus must come first.
“Right now, stopping the COVID-19 pandemic is the top priority for us to focus on. I want people to cooperate well with local and health-related officers. This is not the responsibility of only officials and doctors, but everyone,” he said.
“Then we can think about restoration policy after the outbreak has stopped,” Dr Chayanon concluded.