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Pattaya reopening likely to snub nightlife, favor other attractions



PHOTO: Pattaya may be opening soon, but likely without the nightlife it's famous for. (via Lin Kiu on Unsplash)

While Pattaya and indeed the rest of Thailand are struggling to figure out when and how they will really be able to reopen for international tourism, it looks likely that when Pattaya does reopen the entertainment and nightlife the city is famous for may not be open.

As reopening comes into sight welcoming back international travellers that would be free to roam for the first time since the early months of 2020, officials in Chon Buri have not made any concrete plans about reopening the bars and nightclubs that attract a huge chunk of Pattaya’s visitors.

The Phuket Sandbox has entered its third month and many expected that, with the return of international visitors, bars and nighttime entertainment would have to reopen. But that has yet to happen and many restaurants have turned to sneakily serving alcohol while the leader of the Patong Entertainment Business Association took a harsh stance against the long-term closures of nightlife venues in Phuket and the lack of assistance from the government of Thailand, calling on bars and clubs to open as restaurants despite the action being legally dubious and chastised the government for the long-term closure without any aid at all.

Pattaya may face a similar quandary as entertainment venues have received little to no assistance from the government and have been closed for more than five months but reopening plans do not seem to include nightlife. Some local leaders have been pushing to move Pattaya away from a nightlife and party destination and maybe taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic the move tourism in that direction.

Chon Buri official plan on promoting natural attractions and cultural experiences for visitors entering Thailand in the coming months. Tourism marketing will focus on the cleaner beaches due to lack of tourists, water sports like swimming and scuba diving, golfing, animal attractions, and commerce like dining and shopping, promoting restaurants and large shopping centres including Central Festival and Terminal 21.

The government plans to focus as well on beautiful natural locations and scenic attractions such as islands like Koh Larn, Nong Nooch Gardens, Khao Kheow Open Zoo, The Sanctuary of Truth, the newly repainted Big Buddha, and local temples. They will also attempt to attract people interested in the culture and history of the area, promoting traditional Thai clothing, food, weaving, and culture.

With tourist hubs in Thailand already struggling to attract international visitors amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it may be a challenge for Pattaya to reinvent itself without its infamous nightlife.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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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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