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Pattaya leaders meet to discuss effects of Coronavirus on tourism

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Members of yesterday's meeting at Nong Nooch Gardens in Pattaya - The Pattaya News

Pattaya luminaries, community leaders and business owners met yesterday at Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden to discuss the effect of the Wuhan Coronavirus on local tourism and ways to minimise the damage.

The deputy Governor of Chonburi province, where Pattaya is located, travelled to Nong Nooch Gardens to meet with the director of U-Tapao Airport, the director of the Pattaya branch of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the deputy Mayor of Pattaya, as well as the president of Nong Nooch Gardens. Several other important local business and government figures also attended the tourism talk-fest.

They discussed what can be done in response to China’s outward group tour travel ban, which took effect today and is expected to heavily impact the numbers of Chinese tourists into the region. Many employees and business owners whose businesses rely on Chinese tourists have expressed worry on social media.

U-Tapao Airport’ director told The Pattaya News of his concern as many Chinese tourists arrive at the airport on direct flights for their holidays. He said temperature checks are in effect for travellers coming from areas with a history of the virus and that authorities are using the “utmost caution” to protect locals and tourists.

“The ban doesn’t affect tour groups already in the country and all possible precautions are being taken until they return home.”

The director of the Nong Nooch Garden says that despite the travel ban the park has a significant backup plan, partially relying on heavily discounted and even free tickets, and touted the construction of the new “Sky Garden.”

Pattaya City authorities also discussed boosting domestic tourism, as well as visitors from countries such as Russia, India, Myanmar and Laos during the difficult situation in China. Many Pattaya businesses, especially tourist attractions, island tours, hotels and seafood restaurants rely heavily on Chinese tourists.

Bill Barnett from says the whole of Thai tourism will take a significant hit from the drop in Chinese inbound tourism. Read about that HERE.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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