Pattaya tourism seen recovering in coming week

Many local business people and thousands of unemployed hope Pattaya’s international tourism returns someday.

Pattaya tourism is expected to begin its slow recovery in the coming week after Chonburi travel restrictions are removed Feb. 1.

The announced downgrade of Pattaya’s coronavirus-surveillance status from red to orange, which takes effect Monday, brought sighs of relief to business owners who have struggled for five weeks as Pattaya again shut down to control a Covid-19 outbreak.

There were signs of life on Jomtien Beach Saturday, with both Thais and expats hitting the sand. Watersports operators also were back at work for the first time in weeks.

Beach vendor “Worapol” said business has been ticking up since Jan. 25, even though all the customers likely were from Pattaya or Chonburi, as essential travel into the province still was restricted.

It’s still a nice atmosphere to take a walk along Jomtien Beach.

Virtually all businesses, except for cockfighting rings and other similarly high-risk venues, will be allowed to reopen Monday. Worapol hopes that will bring domestic tourists back to Pattaya for the beach, spas and nightlife, even if everything still must close by 11 p.m.

Thanet Supornsahatrangsi (right), from Chonburi’s Tourism Industry Council, thanks Governor Pakarathorn Thienchai (left) for helping Pattaya’s businesses and tourism during the crisis.