Songtaews hurting from COVID-19

CityNews – 22nd February 2020, the songtaew association says that the greatly reduced number of Chinese tourists are really hurting their business. Although there are still tourists from other nationalities, the sudden drop in numbers of Chinese tourists which had been the major group of tourists in Chiang Mai in recent years, means that many tourist-related businesses are hurting.

CityNews talked to some red truck drivers and found that they complained about loss of tourist passengers. Some say that they have to put many more hours in each week to survive. Suphan Bunyuen, a local songtaew driver said that following the break out of the new corona virus from Wuhan or COVID-19, his income has reduced from 1,000 baht per day to around 300 baht per day.

Meanwhile, data from immigration showed that direct flights from China to Chiang Mai, the number of tourists passing immigration have reduced to around only 100 persons per day.

With all of our proverbial eggs in one basket, it is time to revisit this fascinating article in Citylife magazine’s December edition about the dangers of our overreliance on tourism