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Chinese travel woes squeeze Thai economy as new virus spreads

01/22/2020| 10:52:14 AM|

The Thai Tourism & Leisure Index fell 4.5% Tuesday to its lowest level since 2014.

Thailand’s economy faces a new hurdle: A virus in China that threatens to squeeze its key tourism industry during a peak travel period.

As hundreds of millions of Chinese prepare to travel for the Lunar New Year holidays this weekend, the concern is mounting that China will not be able to slow the spread of the pathogen -- part of the coronavirus family -- that first emerged in the city of Wuhan. It has since been detected in people in Japan, Thailand and other parts of China.

Thai authorities have set up temperature detectors at airport arrival gates for flights from Wuhan. Preventing a wider spread that would spook holidaymakers is crucial for the Asian nation since tourism accounts for about a fifth of its economy.

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TAGS: virus | Thailand | outbound travel
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