The Chonburi Tourism Industry Council predicted it would take up to four years and 65 percent of Thailand’s population to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before Pattaya tourism returns to 2019 levels.
Council Chairman Thanet Supornsahatrangsi said March 1 that removing quarantine requirements for arriving tourists is key to the industry’s recovery.
The snail-paced start of Thailand’s vaccination campaign, which began with 4,700 doses of a Chinese vaccine being distributed in Chonburi, won’t have any positive impact on Pattaya tourism, Thanet said. It won’t be until 65 percent of the population gets vaccinated – reaching a level where it is supposed there will be so-called “herd immunity” – that tourism will be able to grow without restrictions, he added.
To reach that level, Thailand will need to import far more vaccine and effectively distribute it, Thanet added.
However, foreign tourists still will not come to Thailand if they are forced to endure 14 days of quarantine, Thanet said. The country must get rid of the quarantine requirement for vaccinated tourists, he said.