Pattaya’s tourism industry on the brink of ‘total collapse,’ say business owners

Empty bars in Pattaya’s formerly notorious Walking Street

Thailand’s resort town of Pattaya, not exactly known for its appeal as a family tourism destination or for its splendid tropical beaches, but still an attraction for about ten million tourists a year in the past seeking various forms of other entertainment, is close to an economic meltdown months into the Covid-19 crisis with no visitor arrivals at all.

Several leading Walking Street business owners, including seafood restaurants, small shops and bars have warned of a “total collapse” of the Pattaya tourist industry if the Thai government does not find a way to allow in foreign tourists in the next three to six months, The Pattaya News wrote.

Pattaya City was the 19th most visited city in the world, with about 350,000 more visitors in 2019 than in the year before. Overall, tourists contributed by about 80 per cent to local GDP, the article stated.

However, with the arrival of Covid-19 the city has been one of the most decimated in Thailand in terms of tourism, along with Phuket and Koh Samui and a few other destinations.

The Pattaya News interviewed a couple of business owners who warned of a ”near-total collapse” of the restaurant, bar, shopping and hospitality industry in the city that goes well beyond the “red light” aspect and is now starting to effect nearly every other local business including tour groups, bus companies, attractions like water parks and cabarets, as well as grocery stores, food vendors, shopping malls and the real estate industry.

Shops are closing in great numbers

Many shops, including fast food joints, massage parlours, barbers and others, have already shut down due to a lack of customers. Language and cooking schools that usually catered to tourists are also closed.

Adding to that, hospitals, beauty clinics and dentists, who depend heavily on medical tourism and foreigners getting dental work done in Pattaya, are also struggling across the city. Tens of thousands of people are already estimated to be unemployed or have left the city and returned to their home province.

The Pattaya News noted that behind closed doors business owners and economists are engaged in furious debates with health officials over allowing back in foreign tourists. The doctors argue that letting in foreign tourists, even carefully, may start another round of infections causing the government to lock-down and shutter the entire country again for several months, causing even more economic damage.

In turn, business owners and experts argue that staying closed for what they suggest for six months will see “irreparable damage” to the tourism infrastructure and industry for the entire country that could take a decade or more to recover.



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Empty bars in Pattaya's formerly notorious Walking Street Thailand’s resort town of Pattaya, not exactly known for its appeal as a family tourism destination or for its splendid tropical beaches, but still an attraction for about ten million tourists a year in the past seeking various forms of other entertainment, is close to an economic meltdown months into the Covid-19 crisis with no visitor arrivals at all. Several leading Walking Street business owners, including seafood restaurants, small shops and bars have warned of a “total collapse” of the Pattaya tourist industry if the Thai government does not find a way...

Empty bars in Pattaya’s formerly notorious Walking Street

Thailand’s resort town of Pattaya, not exactly known for its appeal as a family tourism destination or for its splendid tropical beaches, but still an attraction for about ten million tourists a year in the past seeking various forms of other entertainment, is close to an economic meltdown months into the Covid-19 crisis with no visitor arrivals at all.

Several leading Walking Street business owners, including seafood restaurants, small shops and bars have warned of a “total collapse” of the Pattaya tourist industry if the Thai government does not find a way to allow in foreign tourists in the next three to six months, The Pattaya News wrote.

Pattaya City was the 19th most visited city in the world, with about 350,000 more visitors in 2019 than in the year before. Overall, tourists contributed by about 80 per cent to local GDP, the article stated.

However, with the arrival of Covid-19 the city has been one of the most decimated in Thailand in terms of tourism, along with Phuket and Koh Samui and a few other destinations.

The Pattaya News interviewed a couple of business owners who warned of a ”near-total collapse” of the restaurant, bar, shopping and hospitality industry in the city that goes well beyond the “red light” aspect and is now starting to effect nearly every other local business including tour groups, bus companies, attractions like water parks and cabarets, as well as grocery stores, food vendors, shopping malls and the real estate industry.

Shops are closing in great numbers

Many shops, including fast food joints, massage parlours, barbers and others, have already shut down due to a lack of customers. Language and cooking schools that usually catered to tourists are also closed.

Adding to that, hospitals, beauty clinics and dentists, who depend heavily on medical tourism and foreigners getting dental work done in Pattaya, are also struggling across the city. Tens of thousands of people are already estimated to be unemployed or have left the city and returned to their home province.

The Pattaya News noted that behind closed doors business owners and economists are engaged in furious debates with health officials over allowing back in foreign tourists. The doctors argue that letting in foreign tourists, even carefully, may start another round of infections causing the government to lock-down and shutter the entire country again for several months, causing even more economic damage.

In turn, business owners and experts argue that staying closed for what they suggest for six months will see “irreparable damage” to the tourism infrastructure and industry for the entire country that could take a decade or more to recover.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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