Pattaya boat operators are sinking now that all of their Chinese passengers are stuck back home.
Beijing’s ban on overseas tours has put the hurt on a range of Pattaya businesses, but perhaps no group is more affected than boat operators who were getting fat on ferrying barges of Chinese visitors to Koh Larn every day.
Having put all of their eggs in the Chinese basket, operators are now left to pick up the broken shells.
Nattapong Manasom, president of major boat operator NPE Co., has laid off tour leaders and cut mechanics back to half-time. NPE paid full salaries for the first month of the slowdown, but Nattapong said he can’t continue that in coming months.
Many of his workers have returned to their hometowns, he added, saying that if the Chinese ban lasts more than three months, the company will likely go under.
Nattapong admitted he must now go back to Square One and build his business all over again, looking for new markets.