Despite the high Covid-19 infection rate in Chon Buri, planning for the “Pattaya Move On” reopening programme will continue. With the ongoing spread of the virus and the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, infecting more than 500,000 people in Thailand over the past several months, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has been considering whether to postpone the reopening of several tourist destinations.
Pattaya has taken a hit from the lack of international tourism. Many businesses have closed. Walking Street has been compared to the Walking Dead, the zombie apocalypse TV show and graphic novel series. Many bar girls at popular go-go bars have been out of work and have tried to make money by doing live stream videos for customers overseas.
With the need to bring back foreign tourism to Pattaya, President of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, Boonanan Phattanasin, says the “Pattaya Move On” project planning will continue, regardless of TAT’s talk of postponing the schemes. Officials have been eyeing September 1 as the reopening date. Local officials have also looked into using Koh Larn as a “sandbox” for foreign tourist for their first week in Thailand.
“If the situation improved and there was no immediate support plan by the official reopening date, it could cause problems and the opening of the city would have to be postponed anyways. Therefore, we will continue planning for a reopening of Pattaya to foreign and domestic tourists, with all business sectors operating, as soon as possible.”
Chon Buri, which includes Pattaya, is classified as a “dark red” province under maximum control for its high infection rate. Today, the province reported 864 in Covid-19 cases. In the latest wave, first recorded on April 1, there have been more than 20,000 confirmed Covid-19 infections in Chon Buri.
Tourism officials have been planning to reopen 10 provinces to foreign tourists by the end of October. Phuket reopened under the “Sandbox” model on July 1 and Surat Thani reopened its trio of islands, Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao, on July 15 under the “Samui Plus” plan. The goal was to also reopen Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Chon Buri, Krabi, Phang Nga, and Buriram by the end of October.
Last Saturday, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn announced that plans to reopen all of the 10 tourist destinations by the end of October might be difficult due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak and high infection rates at target tourist destinations like Bangkok and Chon Buri.
SOURCE: Pattaya News
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