Sun, 28 Feb 2021

BANGKOK, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Phuket, one of Thailand's famed tourism destinations, was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and saw more than 80 percent of its spa and massage parlors temporarily closed.

Some 500 out of a total of about 600 spa and massage parlors in Phuket have lost a combined of five billion baht (about 166.83 million U.S. dollars) and temporarily closed due to lack of customers, Health and Wellness Phuket Spa Association President Ratanada Choobal said.

Some of them might not survive and probably be shut down permanently, Ratanada said.

Before the pandemic, these spa and massage parlors got up to 95 percent of their revenues from foreign tourists, according to the association head.

The pandemic also took a toll on employment. Of the 10,000 employees working at Phuket's spa and massage parlors, only one fifth of them are still working while most have already called it quits and left for their home provinces, she said.

As of Wednesday, Thailand's total COVID-19 caseload rose to 15,465, with more than 10,000 of the infections reported since the second wave of outbreak erupted in mid-December.

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