It’s been two months since Pattaya reopened, but there are few signs the city’s economy is recovering.
Nid, owner of the Yindee hair salon on Thepprasit Road, said March 30 that her shop has lost about half the customers she had before the Covid-19 pandemic. While her customers are not tourists, they worked in hotels, bars and restaurants that depend on foreign tourists.
Most of those businesses are now closed or have laid off staff. Many have left Pattaya for their home provinces and the ones who have remained are getting their hair cut less often.
Many days she takes in only 300-600 baht, Nid said.
The government claims that its move to shorten quarantines from 14 to 10 days starting April 1 will spark a tourism revival. Pattaya business owners interviewed disagree. As long as Thailand insists on quarantines – especially for those already vaccinated against the coronavirus – tourists won’t come and Pattaya won’t recover.
In the second half of 2021, vaccine production and use will be widespread, which will help increase the number of foreign tourists leading to a gradual recovery of the Thai economy.
Industry experts say tourism and hotel businesses can adjust to the post-pandemic environment by increasing the use of new technologies, emphasizing the analysis of tourists’ different and diverse demands to offer services that can meet personal demand and prioritize safety in health and hygiene.