Chonburi saw a surge in foreign arrivals after the government eased its tourist-entry restrictions, Pattaya business leaders were told.
Ampai Sakdanukuljit Sliwinski, head of the province’s Tourism and Sports Department, told the May 26 meeting of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association at the Shambhala Hotel that Chonburi welcomed 91,823 arrivals since May 1 when the Test & Go entry scheme was canceled.
Most of those arrivals were Thai visitors, not foreign tourists, but the province did see 4,216 Indians, 1,627 Brits, 1,027 Japanese, 946 South Koreans and 940 Germans arrived April 1-30.
Ampai said the tourism outlook looks even better, especially if the government does away with the Thailand Pass registration system for foreign tourists. Thais are exempted from obtaining a QR code from June 1. The government’s decision to end quarantine for unvaccinated tourists starting June 1 also bodes well for tourism, she said.
But Thailand is nowhere close to again drawing 40 million tourists again, so businesses must continue to attract Thai domestic tourists, as well as develop Southeast Asian markets, Ampai advised.
She said Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are growth markets and the increase in Laotians arriving in Thailand has been obvious since Thailand’s landlocked neighbor reopened on May.
PBTA President Boonanan Pattanasin said Pattaya must do its best to attract tourism by polishing its image and organize activities to draw visitors. He envisages a surge in tourism and business in Pattaya in the near future.