Thailand’s restaurants hit hard by COVID-19 hinh anh 1Diners at a restaurant in Bangkok (Source:

Bangkok (VNA) - The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on Thailand's restaurant business, with 5,000-7,500 operators expected to leave the sector this year.

Ladda Sampawthong, President of the Restaurant Business Association, said the sector is facing the worst crisis over the past decade.

She forecast that 10-15 percent of operators, especially large and mid-sized eateries, would exit the country's 400-billion-baht (12.47 billion USD) industry this year.

According to her, the majority of the hardest-hit restaurants are located in tourist destinations. The association is consulting commercial banks on financial assistance, including special interest rates on loans.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand said that the number of foreign arrivals to Thailand in February decreased by 44.3 percent year-on-year, with the number of Chinese tourists down 85.3 percent. Chinese tourists spent 18 billion USD in Thailand in 2019, accounting for one third of total spending by foreign visitors./.