A major theme park in Pattaya, Legend Siam, will temporarily close from March 3 because of the lack of tourists on the back of the spread of the coronavirus.
The closure will leave 200 staff out of work. The management promised to hire them back in the same jobs and salaries when it eventually reopens.
“We have been pondering this (closure) for some time, since Covid-19 started affecting the business,” Thach Rittimat, an adviser to the chief executive officer, said on Friday.
“The closure was decided on after we came to conclusion the situation would not improve soon,” he added.
Legend Siam sprawls over 164 rai of land and opened in 2018. Tourists from China are its main customers, along with Thais and Europeans. It normally attracts 3,000 and 5,000 visitors a day, up to 20,000 in the high season.
The company announcement said customer numbers have dropped up to 95% since the epidemic took its toll on tourism. The global economic slowdown prior to the outbreak had also hurt the business, it said.
“Even Disneyland theme parks have closed,” Narinthorn Na Bangchang, the senior director for marketing, said.
Tokyo Disneyland announced on Friday it will be closed from Saturday through to March 15. Hong Kong Disneyland and Disney’s Shanghai theme parks have been closed for more than a month.
Legend Siam had not set a timeline for reopening its doors. “We will reopen once the situation improves,” she said.
The park’s Pattaya Yak Run, planned for March 22, will also be postponed, tentatively until November, Ms Narinthorn said.