Connect with us


Some Pattaya businesses oppose quick reopening to foreign tourists

Neill Fronde



Photo via Wikimedia

While Pattaya tourist businesses are desperate for borders to reopen to foreign tourists, many local business owners oppose the rush to reopen Thailand. Boonanan Phattanasin, The president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, which serves many businesses throughout Pattaya, points out that while international tourism benefits the local economy, domestic tourism is booming and businesses that cater to Thai tourists are doing well. They fear that open borders may bring new Covid-19 infections in, and scare away their domestic customers.

Seafood restaurants, Thai BBQ, Thai clubs and other places popular with locals much more than foreigners don’t feel the need to rush international customers in, while the coronavirus is still not fully contained. Koh Larn businesses are reporting busy weekends with Thai tourists enjoying a quick getaway, but they worry that locals will look for short holidays elsewhere if they know that Pattaya is a designated “sandbox” area that will be the first to let in foreign travellers. Even with vaccinations and testing, locals may not want to even risk Covid-19 infections and will simply travel somewhere else.

While these concerns are valid, pressure from the much larger international tourism market will likely trump the concerns of the domestic tourism businesses. The goal is to work towards a mutually beneficial solution and Boonanan proposes ensuring the majority of local residents should be vaccinated before opening to international tourists and keeping a watchful eye on sandbox trials in Phuket and Koh Samui first. Until then, Pattaya continues weekly events and promotions aimed at domestic tourists.

The sandbox plan would allow vaccinated tourists from come countries to visit Pattaya and other selected tourist locations without quarantine. Tourists would still be subject to mandatory tracking and allowed to visit limited places until secondary Covid-19 testing was done. The government plans to have Phuket as the first sandbox location with Koh Samui as a likely location for sandboxing early as well. With 10 million foreign tourists in 2019, Pattaya is likely to push forward with the sandbox reopening despite objections from domestic tourism businesses, as a much larger majority rely solely on foreign tourism and are desperate for quarantine and travel restrictions to end.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Keep it close,
    I’m having the time of my life service is never been better in all aspects.

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    in fact they are not all wrong, Pattaya has always been Bangkok’s outlet, there is a regular weekend flow of tourists for those with seafood restaurants, Thai barbecues, Thai clubs and other places frequented by locals , the lack of international tourists is a problem for large hotels, for mega shopping centers, for all those activities that instead need international tourists to survive and I don’t think they will be able to return soon.

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    of course the risk will be there…..can t rely on peoples, too many selfish. it will be always some smartsass to mess around , this human.

  4. Avatar


    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    I’m in Pattaya and 80% of businesses are closed and the remaining 20% are dead. Everyones broke and food queues are a new feature of the landscape.

    If this is true, people would rather be poor and in a life of debt than risk getting covid.

  5. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    All that rubbish posted and rip255 posts the truth.

  6. Avatar

    Joe Nyomozo

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 1:51 am

    I suspect that there is more food poisonings in one week in Pattaya than COVID brought in by a foreigners. With Covid testing, quarantine (not to mention if you vaccinated already) you as a foreigner are a lower risk than a person who lives in Bangkok and come down to Pattaya for the weekend! But of course like with anything you can’t convince undedicated minds!

  7. Avatar

    truc tiep bong da

    Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 5:08 am

    excellent publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector do not notice this.
    You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)60 mins ago

Phuket Covid-19: 5 new deaths and 4 new Sandbox infections

Thailand2 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 Afternoon Update: full provincial totals

Phuket5 hours ago

Phuket man finds 30 million baht surprise on beach: “whale poop”

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Malaysia6 hours ago

Transgender who fled to Thailand faces extradition to Malaysia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 Update: 11,975 infections, 127 deaths

Thailand23 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Thailand1 day ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Thailand1 day ago

CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

Thailand1 day ago

Video of feet on bread appears to be from India, not Thailand

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand Top Stories | Thailand’s security council approves Emergency Decree extension | Sep 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Phuket Covid-19: 3 new deaths, 322 released from medical care

Malaysia1 day ago

Malaysia considers further re-opening to domestic tourism

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand Re-opening, Costs and challenges | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 96

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11