The lockdowns and border closures have had a pretty serious impact on businesses in Chiang Mai and throughout Thailand. Once, a country very reliant on tourism, the Thai economy has been devastated by the harsh lockdown stopping tourism, and forcing businesses to shut down or restrict trade. Harris Gym in Chiang Mai has been no exception to this. With our modern equipment and clean layout, we used to service the needs of many foreigners who would come for short visits to our wonderful city, and see regular visits from a number of digital nomads who call Chiang Mai home, but those numbers have now dwindled.
So serious is the effect from the lockdowns and border closures that the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel has shut down for at least a few weeks, and possibly longer, after having an occupancy rate of 0% for an extended period of time. Due to the hotel being closed our gym can now only be accessed either through Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Mall (on level 4) of via the lift to the left of the Lotus Hotel (lift number 11) near the carpark to the mall.
The new round of covid propaganda which has been getting a great deal of media hype, but in all actually has killed very few people and does not seem nearly as serious as we’re being told it is, had stalled the internal tourism recovery within Thailand. More and more business are going to close down as a result. While we understand the need to be clean, careful and concerned, from a logical perspective there are a lot of things in Thailand that we should be more worried about than this virus. For example, the high number of traffic accidents and road fatalities here outweighs the deaths from covid by over 300 to 1.
It is extremely common for the people of Chiang Mai to ride around on their motorbikes with no helmets. Yet you’ll often see people with a face mask on, despite having no head protection. The media has convinced us covid is one of the greatest threats to our survival but in actuality there are 1000 other things here that are more likely to kill us on any given day. Bankruptcy and poverty are far more of a threat to the majority of Thailand’s population right now.
Due to the decrease in attendance to our gym, and the lack of anyone coming late in the evenings, we now close our doors at 9pm if nobody is at the gym at the time. This is just a temporary measure and will not be ongoing, indefinitely. We have also adjusted our class timetables due to drops in attendance. Please check our Facebook page for the latest updates. Below is the most recent schedule.
It is our hope that our wonderful Government will soon re-open the country and stop the media hyping of the virus, allowing people to get back to work and keeping the economy alive. Thailand will not be able to continue on for long under this current state, as more and more of us are forced to close our businesses if this forced economic depression is not alleviated.
Just last week I was speaking with a visa agency owner who said their business which mostly evolves around doing ED visas for foreigners is down over 80% since 2019. Fortunately for us, we have not been so dramatically impacted, but we are still feeling the strain of all this and, like every other business owner in Thailand, we’re hopeful that things will return to their former state in the very near future.