BANGKOK — A group of massage parlor operators on Monday urged the government to allow their businesses to reopen, citing a severe hardship many of them are facing.
During a brief rally close to Government House, Pitak Yotha, the leader of a masseur federation, said in a petition he submitted to the Prime Minister that it is unfair to keep the parlors closed when other businesses can reopen amid the easing in coronavirus pandemic.
“The business of traditional massage or health massage is no different to the cosmetic surgery business,” Pitak said, referring to a recent government order to reopen cosmetic surgery clinics. “They are both businesses that deal with human bodies.”
Pitak also told reporters many massage parlors already closed down for good because they cannot afford to keep the business open with the ongoing financial loss.
“I’d like the government to think of the Thai massage enterprise, which is the unique identity of Thailand, and it has brought so much reputation to the country.”
The Thai government said in a 2019 report that there are about 25,000 practitioners of the traditional massage craft nationwide.