The impact of coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions is hitting business owners on the southern island of Koh Samui particularly hard as almost 100 hotels and guest houses have been put up for sale.
The small island relies heavily on tourism for income and since the government ordered hotels to close on April 7th, owners have struggled to make payments or receive assistance from the banks.
President of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, Worasit Pongkampan, said that a lack of cash flow and being unable to borrow money has led to the market being flooded with hotels for sale.
While the covid-19 lockdown was the final nail in the coffin, Mr. Pongkampan said that the financial woes began late last year and continued into January of this year.
By February, when the coronavirus pandemic hit Thailand, some hoteliers were unable to collect payments from large tour operators with whom they had business agreements.
This, in combination with the temporary closure of hotels on the island, led to no revenue streams for the businesses while expenses such as mortgages, rental payments, staff salaries, and other costs remained.
Mr. Pongkampan called for more assistance from the government, who recently approved three executive decrees to assist with post-coronavirus economic issues, saying:
“Under this circumstance, it is more difficult for them to seek soft loans from banks to maintain their liquidity. I would like the government to immediately help the operators with soft loans before it is too late because hoteliers are in deep trouble.”
Similar financial impacts are being felt nationwide as business owners struggle to keep their companies afloat following two and a half months of lockdowns.