Since the partial-full opening of the country to foreign visitors, the number of tourist arrivals has gradually increased, but only from countries that have allowed their citizens to travel overseas unrestricted.
India was one of the very first countries whose citizens couldn’t wait to get on a plane to fly to our shores. Pattaya has gained from this influx and Indian tourists can be seen in many parts of the resort, relaxing and enjoying the many entertainment opportunities available in this resort town.
Pattaya’s Koh Larn Island seems to have benefitted tremendously from the return of foreign tourists. For the past 2 years, most of the tourists who went to Koh Larn were domestic visitors and that only on weekends and holidays. The island was under lockdown for a few months during the pandemic, when no one was allowed on or off the island which put a temporary stop to all tourism activities.
Last week saw a bumper crowd of tourists board boats at Bali Hai Pier to sail to Koh Larn. One boat operator was all smiles as he noted that it had been a very long time since tourists travelled to the island during the week and not just on weekends. “Koh Larn is still one of the main attractions drawing tourists from all over the world to Pattaya.” he said. He also remarked that during this initial opening period, most of the tourists going to island are Indians, Thais and Europeans in that order.
Phisut Sae-khu, president of the Thai Hotels Association (Eastern Chapter) said that he felt optimistic things will look up towards the end of the year. “International travel agents have initiated contacts with us and I expect that by the high season we will be able to regain at least 50% of the tourists from Asian countries that we used to get.”
He said Pattaya’s main Asian markets are India, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. “Another point to be optimistic about is the National Chinese Day holidays are fast approaching. If all goes well, maybe the Chinese government will allow their people to travel. If that happens, we can expect an influx of tourist from the Chinese mainland. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.”
Phisut said that due to the war in Ukraine, there was still no chance of seeing Russian tourists coming to Pattaya anytime soon.
“With the end of the Test & Go scheme on May 1, there is an average of 15,000-18,000 tourist arrivals daily. Now that the country is fully open to tourists, including allowing bars, pubs and massage parlors to fully open, things are definitely looking up.”