Pattaya tourism officials pin hopes on proposed travel bubble with India

FILE PHOTO: Flickr/Caro

Pattaya is looking to India to salvage what’s left of tourism during the forthcoming low season, as Thailand plans a travel bubble with the South Asian nation. According to a Bangkok Post report, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is preparing a marketing plan targeting would-be visitors from India. The country is one of the few short-haul markets that doesn’t require its citizens to quarantine on their return from overseas.

Thanet Supornsahasrungsi from the Chon Buri Tourism Council is hopeful that pent-up demand will boost visitor numbers, but says this will depend on how many airlines resume flights between both countries. He is hopeful the low-cost carriers will return to the skies as they have the potential to generate more passenger numbers.

According to the Bangkok Post, Thanet says the recent surge in Covid-19 infections has had a negative impact on domestic travel to Pattaya, despite the government’s We Travel Together stimulus campaign. He adds that seminars and meetings of state agencies organised for Pattaya have also been postponed.

In addition, new registrations under the revamped Test & Go entry scheme are lower than when the scheme first launched last year. Thanet believes the drop is due to high season coming to an end soon, but the revised scheme now includes a second PCR test on day 5, a factor many critics say will deter would-be visitors.

Meanwhile, the TAT has already planned a number of familiarisation trips from India to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui. Thanet Phetsuwan from the TAT says the trips are taking place between February 15 and 22, with more trips and wedding symposiums due to happen in March.

He is hopeful that Thailand may see Indian tourists arrive by late April. The TAT says it plans to attract at least 500,000 Indian visitors during the current fiscal year, which will end in September.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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