The Pattaya City Municipality is planning five major events to boost tourism after fully vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries begin to enter the kingdom from Nov 1.
Pattaya mayor Sonthaya Khunplome on Tuesday said the reopening of the country to fully vaccinated visitors without quarantine would revitalise the tourism industry, particularly in this beach city where the Covid-19 outbreak has crippled tourism.
In a televised broadcast on Monday night, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he will push for the opening up of the country to fully vaccinated foreign tourists from at least 10 countries on Nov 1 with no quarantine requirements.
However, pre-conditions are that international visitors will need to prove they are Covid-free at their time of travel with an RT-PCR test undertaken before they leave their home country, and then must be tested again in Thailand.
In responding to the reopening plan, the Pattaya mayor said the end of the quarantine requirement would be be a major driving force to stimulate tourism and draw more international visitors to Pattaya.
Earlier, the government set requirements for 7-14 days’ quarantine and three separate RT-PCR tests. Such requirements would be expensive for tourists, Mr Sonthaya pointed out.
Pattaya City is fully prepared to open its doors to tourists as it has sped up Covid-19 vaccinations for people living in the beach town, including workers — both Thais and migrants — and foreign expats, he said.
More than 70% of people in Pattaya have received a second dose of Covid-19 vaccines while a third shot has been administered to 100% of the population on Koh Lan, a popular island, said the mayor
The municipality will speed up vaccinations for 4,000 students that are due by the end of October.
On top of those measures, the Pattaya City Municipality is also planning to hold five major tourism promotion events, starting from the first week of November.
Pattaya mayor Sonthaya Khunplome says the beach city is prepared for the reopening of the country. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)
Damrongkiat Pinitkarn, secretary to the Entertainment Venues and Tourism Association in Pattaya, said the prime minister’s announcement that the ban on serving alcoholic beverages in restaurants could be lifted on Dec 1 was good news for business operators and employees, allowing them to get back on their feet after months of hardship during the Covid-19 outbreak.
He agreed with the government’s plan to allow entertainment venues to reopen on Dec 1, one month after the country is reopened to fully vaccinated foreign visitors from low-rik countries without quarantine on Nov 1.
This would enable entertainment business operators to assess the situation and see which groups of visitors would arrive in Thailand during the reopening of the country — from America, Europe or Asia — so services could be adjusted to meet the their needs, said Mr Damrongkiat.
He insisted nightspots were ready for the reopening of the country.