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The economy in the southern province of Krabi has been decimated due to Covid-19, as is the case in many popular tourist spots in Thailand. Tourist numbers in Krabi have dropped sharply, from an annual average of 6 million to just 1.5 million last year, Nation Thailand reports. Tourism revenue has plummeted from around 120 billion to 29 billion baht.
Local Krabi, Amarit Siripornjutagun, who runs Krabi town's Ruen Mai restaurant, says that just as he thought the worst was behind him, the country was hit by a second Covid-19 outbreak. The virus's resurgence means that he now has 80 per cent fewer customers.
Despite the financial pressures he is facing, Amarit has managed to retain all his staff but says he will have to reduce their hours if things do not improve this month.
Krabi's mayor, Keeratisak Phukaoluan, meanwhile, believes that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that the province will eventually double its tourist numbers. In line with the neighbouring provinces of Phuket and Phang Nga, the development of Krabi airport and the provision of parking bays for 30 jet airliners will increase the province's status as a tourism hub, he says.