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Pattaya hotels take food to the streets in bid to survive

Tanutam Thawan



Pattaya’s hotels are taking their restaurants to the streets by offering food stalls outside and delivery in a bid to save their businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Such changes in their attempts to avoid closing, come as city officials say they will use funds to spruce up the city for Chinese New Years on February 12.

As Chonburi province is still declared as a “high-risk” and “highly-controlled” area, all hopes of domestic and foreign tourism have been dashed as visitors are essentially banned. Even with recent virus infections down to just 1 over the past 3 days and single digits in the last week, the strict measures have not been lifted.

After Covid hit, hotels in Pattaya relied more on domestic tourists, which appeared to be working for several months after the city held more outdoor festivals to increase tourism traffic. Now, without domestic tourists helping to curb the financial downfall, the hotel industry has met many times with province leaders and represetatives from the Social Security Office of Thailand to ask for a forced legal closure which would allow their formal staff to get paid through social security benefits at roughly 50% of their daily wages.

The requests so far have been denied, leaving 30,000 hotel workers in Pattaya alone out of a job. Some hotels have managed to keep their employees and even providing meals and lodging for them. But smaller hotels have run out of money and are having to lay off staff without pay.

Such larger hotels as LK hotels and Dusit hotels are bringing their restaurant food to the streets and offering delivery but they say it is only to provide for their staff during these hard times. The Thai Government has stated they are looking at other options than a forced closure and social security payouts, but have yet to make a decision.


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Yes back to selling off stalls in the street, and fishing, and farming.
    It was their Thai destiny.
    They had a few good years when the ferangs came, but alas, Thailand killed the golden goose.
    Try as I might I cannot feel sorry for them, in a country where I have to pay twice or three times the price of going into a Thai National park, hospital, or entertainment venue.
    Just as I would not feel sorry for a shark being run over by a speed boat.

    • Avatar

      Leo Z

      Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 8:57 pm

      There is some/a lot of truth in what you’re saying, but this report basically points to inadequate/incompetent planning by the Thai tourism sector AND the government. Thailand made a conscious decision to be the destination of “directed mass tourism” from China and turned away from being the long-term tourism/retirement destination from Western countries. In addition to the political risks this creates, it also leaves you vulnerable to losing the bulk of your tourism overnight.

      The victims now of course are the Thai tourism/hotel employees, who basically are now begging for benefits of up to 50% of daily wages, which (unbeknown to many foreigners) would amount to 7,000-10,000 baht a month.

    • Avatar

      Mel Burn

      Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 9:33 pm

      Sharks are much more valuable than people for the environment and they are not as stupid

    • Avatar


      Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 8:48 am

      Twice or Three times for national parks, it’s actually ten times or 1000%, one reason i never go to these places,as do a lot of other fallangs!

  2. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    Perhaps the hotel owner’s who have been raking in tons of cash for decades might want to have a look at their offshore bank accounts and perhaps hand a few baht over to the staff as opposed to sending them on to the street to complete directly with small mom and pop businesses that struggle to make an honest living at the best of times.

  3. Avatar


    Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Can’t be good news for the existing street vendors. That’s all they need is additional competition in a market that’s a shell of it’s former self. So if a hotel lays off staff those people are not entitled to SS? However if the government forces closure than they are? I understand why the government would not want to do so (the cost might be enormous) , but that really sucks for the people. In an economy with very low unemployment and a robust informal sector, that kinda works. However it sure doesn’t now.

  4. Avatar


    Friday, January 22, 2021 at 8:04 am

    Do we have to read these articles and comments until the beginning of 2022?

    • Avatar


      Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 9:14 pm

      I think that is a certainty, and quite likely to extend a while beyond, it will all depend how the Thai government handles 2021. Personally I doubt it will ever return to be the destination it once was before 2020, IMO a reset of the tourism sector is inevitable, and long overdue.

    • Avatar

      Even longer

      Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 11:38 pm

      they are obviously hell bent on destroying the economy. But, hey, Europeans are doing exactly the same, only worse!

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Monday, January 25, 2021 at 10:43 pm

      You don’t have to read anything.

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