With foreign travelers not expected to return in sizeable numbers until December, Pattaya hoteliers are pushing hard to attract Thai tourists.
Phisut Sae-khu, president of Thai Hotels Association Eastern Chapter, said less than 40 percent of Pattaya hotels have reopened, but those that did are rolling out promotions to attract domestic travelers.
The majority are waiting to see whether visits to Pattaya pick up enough to justify reopening. If not, then they’ll likely wait until 2022.
He said year-end events starting with the Pattaya Music Festival and Fireworks Festival in November will boost domestic tourism.
Pattaya City Councilman Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn, who also is CEO of Flipper Hotel Group, said his four hotels saw 80-percent occupancy during the recent holiday weekend.
Most of the guests were Thais who took advantage of the government’s subsidized travel campaign.
While the reopening of Thailand to foreign tourism has grabbed the headlines, Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of Thai Hotels Association, said it’s unlikely any significant number of foreign travelers will arrive in Thailand before December.
Until then, she said, Thai tourists will be the most important asset for the industry.