#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.
Chiang Mai elephant camp eagerly awaits return of Chinese tourists
THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2023
An elephant camp business in the northern city of Chiang Mai province is placing its hopes on the return of Chinese tourists to Thailand.
Wassana Thongsuk, an executive of Mae Taeng Elephant Park and Clinic in Chiang Mai’s Mae Taeng district, said on Thursday that her business had started to hire new employees after having had to lay off many staff during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
With the imminent return of Chinese tourists this year, Mae Taeng Elephant Park is looking for new staff to meet an expected increase in visitors, Wassana said.
She added that the elephants who were sent back to their owners during the Covid-19 crisis would be called back to cope with increased demand.
Chinese tourists accounted for as much as 80% of the elephant camp’s visitors before Covid-19 severely struck the Thai tourism industry in 2020, she said.
“The return of Chinese tourists will be good news for us. We are waiting for their return,” she said.
Wassana said that her elephant camp has received many tourists from Europe, Asia, and the United States after Thailand started to fully reopen to foreign visitors last year, but their numbers were still limited.
“The incomes [from those tourists] are still insufficient to keep the business running at full capacity. We still need tourists from China to get enough revenue to feed the elephants,” she said.
The expenditure on each elephant at the camp is 1,000 baht per day, or 30,000 baht per month, for food, medicines and other needs, she said.
She expected the country’s tourism situation to improve this year, although it would not be as good as the pre-Covid period.