Beaches at this popular tourist destination have re-opened, but the business community remains sceptical over the revival of the tourism industry.
President of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, Ekkasit Ngamphichet, said a big push from the government was needed to boost the local tourism market, which is valued at 100 billion baht (RM13.5 billion) annually.
He said entertainment venues, fun activities and nightlife were part of the tourism sector here and he was unsure if visitors would be lured back when Pattaya was not “fully” open.
According to The Bangkok Post, about 45 per cent of visitors to the resort town are Thais who usually spend a night or two during the weekend.
“Hoteliers are in for hard times if they fail to attract Thai tourists, as it will be months before foreigners return.
“We agree with the proposal that state agencies and local organisations arrange seminars and training in the provinces to boost local economies,” said Ekkasit.
He also called on the government to consider extending compensation payments to workers insured under the Social Security Act as business operators attempt to rebuild in the coming months.
“Foreign tourists aren’t returning and the worst-case scenario is that they might not come back until next year.
“As for Thai tourists, a few enjoy the sun and sand, but most prefer other entertainment activities. So opening the beaches is like putting up a sign telling people tourism in Pattaya is coming,” he said.
A survey by The Bangkok Post along stretches of beaches here found scant activity.
Income-generating jet skis and banana boats had disappeared and with tourists mostly gone, the only visitors are Thais and long-stay foreigners or those who did not leave prior to the lockdown.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul promised to give a raise to health volunteers and set aside funds to buy medical equipment and supplies for community hospitals after an executive decree to finance post-Covid-19 schemes sailed through Parliament.
Anutin said he ordered the Public Health Ministry to grant a monthly raise to health volunteers for six months from March to September to boost their morale, as they had played an active role in preventing the transmission of Covid-19.
He said the ministry was also instructed to set aside a budget of 200,000 baht for each community hospital to procure medical supplies and equipment. – NST ONLINE/THE BANGKOK POST