Over 5,000 people are out of work along with over 1,000 elephants following the majority of Chiang Mai elephant camps closing due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) related downturn in tourism.
The data comes from Mr Boonthachai Lert, Executive Chairman of Mae Taeng Elephant Camp and a spokesperson for the industry who told Ejan that 85 of Chiang Mai’s 94 elephant camps had shut their doors.
The current estimated loss due to the closures across the industry is said to be 6 billion baht.
In the case of Mr. Lert’s elephant camp, daily tourist numbers of over 1,000 people on average have dropped to less than 50 people per day. Mr. Lert noted that for his business 400 people per day was the break-even point and that he was currently reducing hours for employees in an attempt to keep the business running.
He added that if things don’t change in the next month he will have no choice but to close his business as well.