Pattaya hotels are writing off Chinese New Year and casting hopeful eyes toward Songkran.
The first weekend since the end of Pattaya’s lockdown saw most of the city’s hotels closed, from major resorts like the Hard Rock Hotel to four-star Aya Boutique to budget OYO inns.
Constrained supply meant, however, that those who did open found a surprising number of bookings, with Bangkok residents – still living in a coronavirus “red zone” – came to Pattaya for open bars, wine with their restaurant meal and simply a chance to get out of the big city.
But Pattaya City Councilman Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn, former president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association and an executive with the Flipper hotels group, said he doesn’t expect domestic tourism to pick up enough to warrant many hotels opening even for Chinese New Year later this month.
So far, reservations for the Feb. 12-14 holiday weekend are sparse right now, Sinchai said. But domestic tourists tend to book later than foreign tourists, so it’s too early to call Chinese New Year a wash, he said.
Nonetheless, most hoteliers are looking to April and the Songkran holiday, which has been extended by a day this year. It’s hoped that the April 12-15 break will draw many Thai tourists and that foreign tourism – bolstered by coronavirus vaccinations around the world – may show signs of life by then.