The Thailand Tourism Business Association has held a meeting with the Pattaya City Mayor, Sonthaya Khunplume, to discuss possibly making Pattaya a testing ground for foreign tourism.
Today, September 11, 2020, the president of the Thailand Tourism Business Association Mr. Wichit Prakobkoson met the Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunpluem at Pattaya city hall.
Mayor Sonthaya told Associated Press following the meeting, “The Tourism Businesses Association has discussed with us about many countries that have had success in the fight against COVID –19, similar to Thailand. They brought up several ideas and plans on how we could possibly invite these tourists back to Pattaya safely.”
“We have discussed about how to bring foreign tourists to Pattaya in order to sustain and reinvigorate the struggling tourism industry in Pattaya and Thailand. Pattaya has struggled heavily due to the lack of foreign tourists.” Sonthaya added.
Last year, Pattaya hit nearly ten million tourists and was the nineteenth most visited city in the world. Pattaya depends on tourism for roughly eighty percent of its GDP and without tourism has nearly no major industry to support the city.
“The Tourism Business Association is designing an overall plan with safety measures to officially recommend the plan to Pattaya City, along with relevant agencies such as the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).” Sonthaya added.
“In addition, many activities will be held up to the end of this year to encourage domestic tourism for Thai tourists to Pattaya.” Sonthaya concluded.
The meeting was mostly informal and at this time is only in early discussion phases, notes The Pattaya News. With some tourist cities, like Phuket and the Phi Phi islands, showing opposition to foreign tourism plans by prominent local residents both Koh Samui and Pattaya have volunteered to step forward as test markets. In Pattaya, the majority of influential residents are also connected to the tourism industry and it is much more likely the majority of the city would approve a proposal.
However, the CCSA has previously stated that Pattaya would be “difficult” to make a test market due to concerns and fears that it would be too easy for a visitor in quarantine phases to leave the city as it is not an island. The Tourism Business Association stated they are working on safe ideas to avoid this potential problem.
STORY BY The Pattaya News