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Khao San Road expects very slow recovery, even after reopening

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Khao San Road faces a long recovery. (via Sung Shin Unsplash)
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Though it’s technically a long, flat stretch, the recovery for Bangkok’s backpacker tourist hub of Khao San Road will be a steep uphill battle. While the government plans the November 1 reopening, entertainment venues, clubs and bars that are a mainstay on the previously vibrant, cacophony of a strip are unlikely to reopen then, and businesses along the infamous road have been crippled in the meantime.

The president of the Khao San Business Association said yesterday that, while he was happy to hear about the November 1 reopening, he feels it won’t do a lot to help the pre-Covid young traveller mecca. He believes that even after Bangkok reopens to international travellers, Khao San won’t be nearly as vigorously lively as before, especially with entertainment venues and nightlife still closed.

The association president went on to predict that Khao San Road likely won’t see the return of crowds and action until the middle of next year, and even then, he expects it to only regrow to 50% of the previous fervour. Before Covid-19, the businesses on the long strip were collectively earning 20 million baht per day, which amounts to over 7 billion baht annually.

With the harsh realities of the Covid-19 pandemic, the once jam-packed street is now estimated to be earning just 100,000 baht per day, spread out among the hundreds of businesses that once operated there. As many as 90% of those businesses on Khao San Road are shut down now, and it’s unknown how many will manage to reopen to begin recovery when tourists begin to drizzle back onto the world-famous party street.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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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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