Bangkok’s in a bit of an snag right now, with air pollution resulting in reduced visibility thanks to smog, visible from any hotel in Bangkok Sukhumvit, which research suggests might also take a huge toll on the country’s economy.
According to an analysis by the Kasikorn Research Centre states that the smog could cost the country Bt6.6B in losses for the healthcare and tourism sectors. Using statistics on air pollution-related sicknesses, cited in the Kasikorn Research Centre’s analysis, it was found that the harmful PM2.5 level had already resulted in the increase of patients suffering from respiratory diseases in the capital. Estimations state that around 2.4m people in Bangkok now suffer from allergies and respiratory diseases.
On top of that, it’s been found that many a hotel in Bangkok Sukhumvit have been losing guests as tourists leave the capital in order to avoid the smog in Bangkok.
The analysis warns that, unless authorities relieve the air pollution issue soon, a large number of tourists to the country might cancel their trips to Thailand, which would inflict losses to the tourism industry estimated at up to Bt3.5B.
Experts on air pollution are saying that the problem with the city’s smog is, in part, due to the national government falling short of their ‘low-carbon economy’. Recommendations to deal with the air pollution include higher taxes on what’s called ‘dirty fuel’ and cutting down on the number of vehicles operating in the city’s streets.
The best solution, they suggest, is cut down pollution emission at its very source. Experts say that pollution from traffic is clearly one of the biggest causes of the severe smog in Bangkok, so the simplest way to cut down on it is to reduce pollution emissions from the transport sector is to reduce the number of vehicles operating in Bangkok’s roads.
They recognize that that solution might come across as radical, especially for a city as bustling as Bangkok, but it can be done. Experts claim that it can be achieved by the government giving incentives to encourage people to use public transport, and other support measures.
As expected, the government has been hit with some flak on the matter, with some looking towards the recent actions of the government as part of the problem currently plaguing the country.