The local residents of Pattaya have expressed concern about the increasing number of homeless residents on the streets of the city, many of these homeless people have lost their jobs and places of residence due to measures, restrictions and a lack of tourists.
In these dire times, hundreds of businesses are closed businesses, some permanent and temporary, providing shelter for the homeless.
The coastal city of Pattaya closed its nightlife such as bars, pubs, massage parlours and cinemas two weeks ago, which hurts.
But according to the municipality of Pattaya, the pain lies mainly in the fact that the coastal city of Pattaya has already been able to receive more than one to no foreign tourists, whereby in this third covid wave domestic tourism has dropped to almost nothing because of the fear of the Covid19 virus. This has left the city’s massive tourism industry, estimated to account for more than 80% of local GDP, struggling, even if a business can stay open.
Hotels are temporarily re-closing and firing staff, restaurants are not allowed to sell alcohol and their opening hours have been cut, leaving many temporarily closed as well, and hundreds of businesses that rely on tourists such as tailors, laundries, boat trips, tourist attractions and others are either closed or struggling due to a lack of tourism.
In 2019, Pattaya was still one of the 20 most visited places in the world with about ten million foreign tourists and about 7 million domestic tourists in Thailand.
The Covid19 pandemic has been spreading for over a year now, shutting down Pattaya’s famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) nightlife for the third time in twelve months.
Let me jump back to the origins of this article, of course, the homeless population has always been present in Pattaya but has increased exponentially in the last year, not to mention the homeless animal population that is estimated to contain hundreds of stray animals, especially dogs. being kicked out on the street is a different story, but just as disgraceful.
The Pattaya City Council is anything but silent and has done several things to get the problem under control, some successful, others unfortunately flopping.
The photos in this article were taken on April 25, 2021, and reflect only a small fraction of the city’s growing homeless population. According to Chonburi provincial authorities who work with homeless people and run shelters, the problem is complex, as many of the people on the street have both physical and mental illness or drug addiction.
And Indeed ……… you can’t close your eyes to it, some locals have recently complained to City Hall about allegedly seeing homeless people living in front of shuttered businesses and openly consuming illegal drugs. They have also complained about some that made former business fronts look poor with makeshift shelters, trash, and other alleged violations.
According to Chonburi provincial authorities, many of the homeless are from Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar who are unable to return home for a variety of reasons, including unrest in their own country or border closures due to Covid-19. Many worked in the service or catering industry, but have lost their jobs and can now no longer return. Sending them home is often not an option, especially for residents of Myanmar. In addition, there are of course also Thai homeless people, they often do not want to go to their home province, because finding food and begging in Pattaya is still much easier than having to work in a remote province.
The city of Pattaya has indicated that they will continue to try to provide support to the local homeless and ensure that they do not break any laws.
One thing is certain: the longer the Covid-19 situation causes businesses to close and people lose their livelihoods, the more homeless people will be seen on the streets.