The southern province of Hat Yai is trumped by poverty in the tourism sector, as shown by the fact that nine tour guides have committed suicide while others have taken to thieves, a spokesman from the provincial tourism industry said.
The pandemic is having such a monstrous impact on the Hat Yais travel industry that as many as nine tour guides have committed suicide since 2019 and more than 600 have lost their jobs in the Songkhla district.
Songkhla Professional Guides Association president Wittaya Lim painted a horrifying picture to reporters this week. He said more than 600 tour guides in the district had become unemployed. Every day, some of them have to closely monitor social media to see where food is being distributed.
Dozens of guides have lost their jobs and returned to their hometowns. Some guides returned to Bangkok suffering from depression and some were even caught stealing.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Sports needs to help guides across the country due to unemployment. There should be some sort of compensation and full vaccination measures for them as they are also frontline personnel directly affected by the pandemic,” Wittaya pleaded.
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