Pattaya is now seeing a slow tourism recovery, with hotel reservations increasing as the New Year approaches.
Phisut Sae-khu, president of the Thai Hotels Association-Eastern Chapter, said Friday bookings have steadily increased since Nov. 1 when Pattaya reopened to foreign tourists and Covid-19 vaccination rates approached 80 percent.
Additionally, restaurants are now allowed to serve alcoholic drinks until 11 p.m., which helps to encourage tourists to come out of their hotels and enjoy dining at different locations, he said.
As for the upcoming New Year’s long holidays, four- and five-star hotels along Pattaya and Jomtien beaches have received at least 80 percent advance bookings, while smaller hotels with fewer rooms and facilities are seeing 50 percent of rooms booked for Dec 31-Jan 3.
Those hotels had earlier closed due to the absence of tourists. Others, which had converted into alternative quarantine facilities, are now welcoming Thais and holidaymakers again.
Phisut said he expects a large amount of walk-in business when the holidays start.
The government’s “We Travel Together” subsidized tourism scheme will help those with less spending power to decide to take a trip at the last minute, he predicted.
Despite the rosy New Year’s outlook, Phisut said Pattaya still won’t be seeing a lot of foreign tourists for some time. However, he added, the association has seen travel agents from Russia and European countries contacting hotels for special promotions.