Pattaya is steadfastedly pushing forward with plans for reopening the tourist city on August 1, with 8 tourism associations submitting a proposal to the governor of Chon Buri. The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, but has been later on the schedule due to difficulties in controlling its porous borders, as opposed to islands like Phuket and Koh Samui. The official schedule announced this weekend has a September date planned for reopening Pattaya.
Chon Buri’s governor is the chairman of the provincial Control Disease Committee, and the president of the Eastern Spa and Wellness Association confirmed that representatives of the 8 tourism groups met with the governor to discuss reopening Pattaya. They requested the creation of a special panel to consider their reopening plan.
The proposal calls for the Tourism Authority of Thailand to work alongside Pattaya City officials to create a Sealed Route tourism plan. It would be created as part of the Pattaya Move On project. The goal is to launch this reopening on August 1.
The plan would limit reopening to certain controlled areas in Pattaya, with careful restrictions and safety measures to minimise risks of Covid-19 outbreaks. The location and travel routes will be carefully selected and only tourists that meet certain requirements will be allowed to enter.
The push for reopening Pattaya as soon as possible comes as 80% of service-related businesses have completely shut down after a year and a half of Covid-19’s devastating effect on tourism and the economy. Despite being more difficult to control than the island tourist destinations, City officials and tourism industry representatives see the need to conquer these obstacles and get reopened.
To achieve this, the Sealed Route would be created to allow safe travel between the main districts on Chon Buri’s mainland, Bang Lamung and Sattahip. Then all tourism businesses would need to comply with the Safety and Health Administration Plus certification and follow all recommended Covid-19 safety measures. Compliance is essential in reopening Pattaya.
But the biggest hurder to the rushed reopening of Pattaya is vaccination. 70% of the residents will need to be vaccinated, a total of 450,000 people. This would require nearly a million vaccines to give each person their required 2 doses. The reopening plans have been requested to be passed on to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for attention and hopefully action including increased access to vaccines.
If the proposal moves forward as planned, the Sealed Route can be launched and tested in August and September, smoothing out hiccups before the traditional high season for Pattaya begins in October. If the reopening plan can’t be launched before then, Pattaya businesses will face another financially catastrophic season, and many more businesses may be lost.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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