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Pattaya beach vendors see domestic tourist business increasing

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FILE PHOTO: Beach vendors say domestic tourists are bringing an increase in business.

Beach vendors along Pattaya beaches say that they are starting to see earnings increase due to domestic travellers in recent weeks. Their revenue is still far below the levels they were before Covid-19, but they are seeing an uptick of weekend and holiday travellers.

Vendors selling food, massage, beach umbrellas and more are slowly seeing improvement, with each weekend seeming to bring more and more customers. Last weekend celebrated the Mahidol Day holiday with a three day weekend from September 24 to 26. The government celebrated the death anniversary of Prince Mahidol, considered the father of public health and modern medicine in Thailand, with a massive vaccination drive, but many citizens celebrated it with a long weekend beach holiday.

Vendors gleefully reported last weekend earning money on par with their profits before Covid-19. The majority of incoming tourists are weekenders from Bangkok and Eastern provinces, or even Chon Buri residents living inland and flocking to the coast for a beach break.

With the reduced crowds during Covid-19, Pattaya City has allowed visitors to park on the beach road, bringing them closer to beach vendors and stimulating business. The area still lacks parking but a new parking garage at Terminal 21 is currently under construction and will have a beach shuttle for those who don’t want to walk the 5- to 10-minute journey. This too will bring people to the beach easily and provide vendors with a bigger customer base.

Chon Buri and Pattaya have delayed their international reopening until November, though some are relieved by that as they fear it could drive away the domestic tourists that are finally beginning to return in numbers since many Thais are scared that international tourists (who are required to be vaccinated with more effective vaccines than those primarily used in Thailand) will bring in waves of Covid-19.

But beach vendors are looking ahead, hopeful that officials will allow many planned festivals to proceed and bring thousands of tourists to Pattaya. Upcoming events include beach food festivals, a music festival, a fireworks festival, and the world-famous Loy Krathong lantern festival.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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