Chinese travellers have been the bread-and-butter for Pattaya tourism, but with Covid-19 restrictions, The Pattaya Business and Tourism Association is focusing on Indian and Russian tourists instead for the planned reopening on October 1. The president of the PBTA had announced that while other cities and provinces have postponed reopening plans, Pattaya stands ready to reopen to international travellers in just over a week.
China is not currently allowing its citizens to travel internationally in tour groups like the ones that have traditionally flocked to Pattaya and require 3 weeks of quarantine for anyone returning home from abroad. While China remains closed off to try to completely eliminate Covid-19, Pattaya is pushing ahead with reopening as Thailand moves towards a strategy of living with Covid-19.
As a result, tourism officials are setting their sights on Indian and Russian tourists who are less restricted in their travels and can visit Thailand now. Both countries allow their citizens to travel abroad and do not require quarantine on return, unlike Korea and Taiwan, other popular tourism demographics. Pattaya has been popular for tourists from both India and Russia and tourism industry reports say there is currently plenty of interest as well.
The quarantine-on-return issue has had a negative effect on Thailand’s attempts at bringing back tourism, with UK and Australian tourists subject to very expensive quarantines upon returning, driving them away along with Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese tourists. The USA has been one of the biggest sources of tourism and travellers to Thailand since they do not require any quarantine when they get home.
But quarantine upon arriving in Thailand is still a big deterrent for potential incoming tourists, with Russians and Indians both expressing distaste for it, especially as Indians are just a quick flight away so they tend to take short trips of only a few days to Thailand.
India also has had the problem that after the Delta variant tore through India creating a stunningly large wave of Covid-19 infections, Indians were banned from travelling to Thailand with only a few limited exceptions for business or family travel. Officials hope restrictions will ease and Indians, as well as Russians, will help restart Pattaya’s international tourism economy.
SOURCE: The Pattaya News
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