Before-and-after footage shows bustling night market destroyed by Covid-19 pandemic

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Shocking before-and-after footage shows a bustling market that has been destroyed by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Tens of thousands of tourists filled the colourful Rot Fai Night Market in the Ratchada area of Bangkok, Thailand, every night before the virus took hold in March last year.

Restrictions on international travel and successive lockdowns over the previous 18 months have caused an economic downturn, with many of the stallholders unable to survive.

The market, which was popular with travellers from China, has now closed permanently – with the land cleared and stalls demolished last month.

Devastated market trader Nam Srisawat said: ‘Even when the market was open, the pandemic meant there were not enough tourists and customers. Many people could not afford to pay to keep their stalls open and the owner of the market was struggling to pay the lease.’

Ministers hope to fully re-open the country to vaccinated travellers in October but economists have warned that it could be another five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen.

Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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