Tourists returning to Bangkok’s Khao San Road

The president of a business operators association on Bangkok’s tourist-trap of Khao San Road says the tourism numbers are making a comeback. This news comes following Thailand Pass‘s eased entry requirements for foreign arrivals, making travelling to Thailand slightly less tedious since May 1. The president told the Bangkok Post that the number of tourists to the walking street still doesn’t exceed 20% of the numbers from pre-Covid times, though.

Last month, when Thai authorities kept an iron grip on would-be Songkran celebrators by maintaining tough Covid-19 restrictions, the president said many businesses on Khaosan Road had cancelled their Songkran parties. Nevertheless, Sa-nga Ruangwatthanakul, president of the Khao San Road Business Operators Association, says more tourists came to Khao San Road during that time to enjoy the bars and markets, despite the limitations.

He says the number of tourists has continued to increase after Thailand eased its entry requirements on May 1.

Sa-nga says that, due to the slightly easier entry procedures, business owners are now able to earn income similar to pre-Covid times. Now, Sa-nga is calling on Thailand’s government to completely do away with the Thailand Pass registration requirement for foreign visitors, and organise campaigns to bring tourists back to Khao San.

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He added that the government’s plans to declare Covid-19 an endemic in Bangkok will also help with the tourism situation.

Covid-19 has been a damper on Thai authorities’ plans for Khao San Road. In 2019, the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority announced it was investing $1.6 million to transform Khao San Road into a regulated “international walking street”, gentrifying the popular tourist strip from it’s former ‘backpacker haven’ days to something with broader tourist appeal.

Khao San road was eventually renovated in 2020, although due to Covid-19 the renovation was less climactic than expected, with much fewer foreigners coming through. However, the streets were still packed with young Thais on weekends. And still is.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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If you want to travel to Thailand, apply for the Thailand Pass with the 24-hour service and obtain Covid Insurance (including free SIM cards).

Note: Unvaccinated travellers require a negative RT-PCR test result 72 hours before travelling.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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