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Pattaya’s tourist organizations have lost hope for foreign tourists


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Tourist organizations in this coastal town have said they have little hope for a massive return of foreign arrivals in the first few months after reopening.

While Pattaya has been voted as the first non-island location to reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists, Pattians fear the constant indecision and regulatory changes will have a negative impact.

Thanet Supornsahasrungsi of the Chonburi Provincial Tourism Board predicts that between August and October, the first months of the reopening, only 30,000 to 40,000 foreign tourists will arrive.

“The early stages of reopening will not attract many tourists as it is low season here and many foreigners.

We need to observe Phuket’s “Sandbox Plan”. The market will initially consist of business travellers or Thai returnees who want to skip the mandatory quarantine in the capital and opt for a more relaxed location.”

Thanet points out that countries such as Turkey and Egypt have opened up to vaccinated tourists without any restrictions. He fears that Thailand could lose such destinations if the rules are not relaxed in the last quarter of the year.

However, he adds that any number of tourists will help at this stage. According to a report by Bangkok Post, tourism revenues have plummeted from 276 billion baht in 2019 to just 68 billion last year.

Phisut Saekhu of the Eastern Chapter of the Thai Hotels Association has said that of the roughly 1,000 hotels operating before the pandemic, only 20% will remain open for business after the third wave of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Eastern Spa and Wellness Association president Rattanopas hopes international tourism will really pick up in the last quarter of the year, adding that mass vaccination of the local population is essential before then.

“Conditions must be met to properly start the reopening, including mass inoculations for 450,000 people in Bang Lamung and Sattahip districts, the Sealed Route Trial Area and the Sealed Area. Tourists should travel to designated places at an early stage, accompanied by operators, as health and safety remain a priority.”

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