The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Phuket Opinion: Sensing the fear

Phuket Opinion: Sensing the fear

PHUKET: The big question on everyone’s lips right now is, ‘Where do we go from here?’ Plunges in share prices on Feb 24 and again on Feb 26 amid coronavirus fears followed by the ‘Black Friday’ hammer blow by oil prices on Mar 6 has seen total market capitalisation on the Thai stock exchange lose B3.25 trillion since the beginning of the year.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 15 March 2020, 09:00AM

Staff cleanse a boarding gangway at Phuket International Airport to help prevent the spread of of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Photo: AoT Phuket

Staff cleanse a boarding gangway at Phuket International Airport to help prevent the spread of of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Photo: AoT Phuket

The thing to remember when reading headline stories about the economic impact of COVID-19, and now oil prices, is that in most other places in the world much of it right now is pure speculation. It’s panic among the people and a money-run among investors. Thankfully Phuket has had no panic buying of toilet paper and food shortages, but the impact on the tourism industry is very real.

Tourism is crucial to Thailand as spending by foreign visitors amounted to B1.93 trillion last year, or 11% of gross domestic product (GDP). As the TAT sees it, the worst case scenario for the year is a fall of 10 million foreign tourists and B1.5trn lost in tourism revenues.

What we do need, and what has been lacking, is a shot of common sense. The new Phuket TAT Chief Napasorn Kakai openly admits Thailand’s overdependence on China as a source market and is already taking what steps she can to spread the range of tourists feeding our island economy.


The move by Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Chalermpong Sukontapol this week to go public with details about the death of 64-year-old Russian man Ilyas Karimov is also much welcomed. Whether skeptics believe him or not is their choice, but at least the death is publicly recognised and with information people can take reasonable precautions to protect themselves, and avoid panic.

The rash of cancellations of mass-gathering events this week also raised concerns. It was almost as if all major event organisers had received a direct order, not a recommendation by the health officials. To be clear, our cinemas and shopping malls remain open and our schools and fresh markets have not been closed, and there has not been any outbreak reported by a public who are heavily attached to their mobile phones and social media networks.

Cancelling events with large numbers of people in crowded areas is a prudent measure and this issue needs caution, but there is no reason at this stage to shut down the island. We ask all event organisers to choose wisely.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Sandbar | 15 March 2020 - 13:26:16

 So the economic impact of COVID-19 in headlines around the world is pure speculation? So why then confirm in this article that the impact on tourism to the Island is very real (referring to economic losses) as a consequence of the COVID-19? So is this article a headline, but not pure speculation? Or is this article pure speculation but not a headline? 


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Phuket Governor order warns of B20k fine for not wearing mask in public

We all understand that you need the revenue from advertisements to run your business PN, and we appr...(Read More)

Phuket Governor order warns of B20k fine for not wearing mask in public

Can the authorities please go to the roadblock at the Nai Harn road that goes around the lake. The...(Read More)

Governor exempts five hotels to receive new guests

One must ponder as to why these hotels were selected to stay open. I am a naturally suspicious perso...(Read More)

Patong blockade: No face mask, no entry

@DeK, yes, you wrote 'someone', indeed. Stop you insinuating nonsense. Mr Nasa writes commen...(Read More)

Phuket Governor orders ‘Patong Shutdown’

I'm wrong again, so sorry. It is 3-19 HOURS, not days lol. So sorry. ...(Read More)

Phuket Governor orders ’shut down’ for Chalong, Kathu

On another note.We do not hear anymore about water situation on Phuket island. Is this problem now n...(Read More)

Phuket officials announce just four ‘new’ cases of COVID, total hits 123

Kurt,every airport worldwide could be or is a Covid transmitting place.Same as a hospital or a supe...(Read More)

Ban on all international flights to Thailand extended

Shwe, you can find the answer in the article. I will give you a hint: " Cargo"...(Read More)

Phuket Governor orders ‘Patong Shutdown’

Keep calm everyone. Thailand is doing an amazing job under incredibly difficult circumstances. The f...(Read More)

Phuket Governor orders ‘Patong Shutdown’

No Christy, that's not correct. I've put the wrong times down. It is actually 3-19 days unde...(Read More)