Thailand sees slump during peak travel period, Chinese stay home for Golden Week

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One of Thailand’s peak travel periods, with an influx of Chinese visitors, looks like it will be quiet for another year. The 7-day holiday in China, known as Golden Week, which starts today, used to draw in hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists, many flocking to Pattaya’s Sohotown and crowding shopping centres, floating markets, and restaurants catering to the holiday, according to South China Morning Post.

Now businesses that used to rely on Chinese tourists are struggling. South China Morning Post spoke with an owner of one of the last shops still open in the area. They said Golden Week has been virtually non-existent for 2 years now, and with 99% of their customers from China, and most of the Chinese staff now back in China, the restaurant might have to shut down.

Before the pandemic, around 40 million tourists entered Thailand each year. A quarter of them were from China, according to the Post. Pattaya is one of Thailand’s top destinations hit the hardest by the halt on international tourism, and the Post says the coastal city’s economic woes are expected to continue until next year as China still has strict quarantine rules for citizens returning home and has shown no sign of easing the restrictions.

SOURCE: South China Morning Post

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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