Amongst the biggest casualties of the Pattaya near-lockdown have been the local travel agencies. They had already shrunk in size because of the growth of customer online air bookings, but most seem to have closed down completely as the awesome pandemic created the ghost town image so apparent today.
Marlowe Malhotra is here to tell you he is the exception to the rule. A businessman for around 55 years, he still turns up every day to his Vicky Travel (formerly Massic Travel) office located just behind Second Road in south Pattaya and facing the Royal Palace Hotel. The name Vicky refers to his daughter who helps out.
“It’s true there are very few tourists,” says Marlowe, “but there are still thousands of western expats here who are going abroad or planning a trip home,” He explains that some long stayers prefer to take advantage of his long experience in finding the best value flights and deals for individual travel needs. There can be swings of thousands of baht according to the package chosen.
Marlowe also points out that not all his customers are expats with one year visas. “There are many tourists still here from last year who are taking advantage of the Thai government’s facility to renew every two months on an ongoing basis.” These extensions are commonly known as “covid visas” and are currently available at immigration offices to tourists who cannot, or do not want to, return home. They can be renewed again until November 26, but nobody knows for sure what will happen to requests after then. Some of these “covid extenders” are at last heading home for Christmas and the New Year.
Vicky Travel is billed as the eastern seaboard’s friendliest agent. You can give him a call anytime on 081 782 5904. By the way, he’s a very good listener. Office phone: 038 426 240 Email: [email protected]