The team at Samujana Villas on Ko Samui have been busy supplying food and water to members of the local community affected by the coronavirus crisis
With just seven confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ko Samui, this tiny Thai island has so far been spared the mass loss of life many other destinations have not been so fortunate to evade. However, the Ko Samui community, which is completely reliant on a booming tourism industry, is in danger of becoming the pandemic’s collateral damage.
Residents employed at hotels and resorts, restaurants and tourist attractions have lost – and are still losing – their jobs with the flow of tourist arrivals currently cut off by a ban on all international passenger flights to Thailand.
Samujana Villas, a resort with 23 luxury lodgings on Ko Samui’s north-east coast, has been forced to close its doors to new arrivals but Covid-19 has not robbed its staff members of their hospitable nature.
John Dopere, the resort’s general manager, has led an initiative providing unemployed locals with hundreds of hot meals and bottles of water.
“Many of our team members have families in Ko Samui and many of them have lost their jobs, so the village chief and I decided to offer help to the community,” he says.
“We love to help – we started providing 150 portions and now, three weeks later, we are offering nearly 300 portions.”