PBTA boss said no immediate drop in Chinese tourists after Bangkok bombing

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The president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association said the Aug. 17 bombing of a Bangkok shrine caused only a 2 percent drop in Chinese tourists in Pattaya in the three days after.

Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn said he has been in close contact business operators in the days following the attack that killed 20 and injured 123 in the capital’s Ratchaprasong commercial district and had heard there had been few cancelations, other than from Hong Kong.

PBTA President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn addresses the press.PBTA President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn addresses the press.

Hong Kong, which saw two of its citizens killed in the bombing, immediately declared a “red alert” travel advisory, urging territory residents to avoid all non-essential travel to Bangkok. The following day, Hong Kong’s tour operator association said all tours to Thailand until the end of August were suspended.

By Aug. 19, 23 nations had issued travel advisories urging caution in visiting Thailand.

With the loss of its Russian tourist base, Pattaya is even more dependent on Chinese visitors than ever before. Chinese now comprise 20 percent of all international visitors to Thailand, but historically they have been extremely sensitive to anywhere with civil unrest.

Pol. Col. Sukthat Pumpunmuang, superintendent of Pattaya Police, said that Chonburi Provincial Police has joined forces with the 14th Military Circle, Tourist Police Division and Pattaya City Hall to send officials to secure various popular locations, especially places that are heavily populated.

Also, Pattaya Police have launched more checkpoints on various routes to inspect motorbikes, vehicles and drivers, making sure that the area is safe and the situation remains stable.