A prominent Pattaya business leader is urging Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome to push the government harder to allow foreign tourists to come to the city and not just Phuket or Bangkok.
Thanet Supornsahatrangsi, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Thailand, and representatives of the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Chapter, met with Kunplome Oct. 16 after having a similar meeting with Chonburi provincial officials.
In the sessions, he urged local leaders to lobby the central government more to expand the number of cities where foreigners traveling on the Special Tourist Visa can arrive. While none actually have entered Thailand on STVs, the plan is to allow them only to spend quarantine in Phuket or Bangkok.
“This is a good opportunity to revive Pattaya tourism,” Thanet said.
Thanet pointed out that Chonburi currently has a dozen hotels certified as quarantine centers and another 13 have applied or passed preliminary inspection to be state or “alternative” state quarantine centers.
Those hotels are eager and ready to accept tourists from Russia and Europe, he said. Furthermore, he said, local tour operators are ready to organize trips complying with the STV program, which requires tourists to be quarantined for 14 days, remain in the area for three weeks and stay in the country for 90 days.
However, he said, Europeans and Russians face objections at Thai embassies, as the country is currently unwilling to accept tourists from “high risk” areas for coronavirus infections.
Thanet admitted that more education needs to be done worldwide by tour operators and embassies to inform potential travelers about the downsides of the STV program, including the long quarantine and other strict control measures. (PCPR)