Koh Larn and beaches open for now, local business operators say contrary to rumors online Bangkok residents have not fled en masse to Pattaya

Koh Lan, Pattaya –

Strict Covid-19 restrictions in maximum control zones have affected Koh Larn and Pattaya as domestic tourists have paused their travelling and booking, according to local officials and business operators.

First, if you are not aware of the restrictions in Bangkok and several other provinces, read this article first.

Mr. Tanakorn Sukkee, deputy head of the Koh Larn restaurant operator association told The Pattaya News, “We had many domestic tourists since the reopening for tourism on Koh Larn on June 14th. ( Click here to read about Koh Larn opening in June after weeks of closures) However, after the new Covid-19 restrictions were announced in many provinces, including Bangkok, most tourists have canceled and postponed their rooms at hotels and resorts on the island. Booking at local hotels is down to almost zero.”

Koh Larn is now well over 70% vaccinated against Covid-19 and one of the most vaccinated places in all of Chonburi (Along with Koh Si Chang.) We are continuing to test people on Koh Larn for Covid -19, vaccinate those still in need, and practice all Covid-19 measurements and hygiene measures. Koh Larn is very safe.” Tanakorn added.

“Koh Larn is open, for now, and has decided to stay open at this time, primarily for local residents. Contrary to rumors online, we did not see a rush of people flee from Bangkok or other areas following the new restrictions there and it has actually hurt us versus brought us more potential customers.” Tanakorn concluded.

Mr. Banjong Parnsor the head of the Koh Larn beach bed operators told The Pattaya News, “Our only hope right now is for local visitors from the Pattaya area. There are some tourists on the island who came here from other provinces for a short trip but have decided to stay for now due to the situation in other provinces and areas, but they came before the Bangkok measures were announced.”

“We have decreased our beach bed service prices and are doing our best to attract customers. The area is very quiet and very safe, although alcoholic drinks are prohibited on the beach.” Banjong concluded.

Ms. Sumalee Aramwong, 50, a beach bed operator on Jomtien Beach told The Pattaya News, “There are no tourists recently as most of our tourists previously are from Bangkok. It is very quiet and the past weekend was the quietest I have seen in months, not counting when the beach was closed. Many people were commenting online about people trying to leave Bangkok, but they certainly didn’t come here.”

For now, beaches and Koh Larn remain open to the public, as long as Covid-19 rules and measurements are followed. They have been closed previously during this round of infections and beaches especially were an unpopular closure with local residents. However, according to the Chonburi Governor, the decision to close beaches was due to concerns of people coming from other provinces to visit the beach and possibly spreading Covid-19 on their trip locally. Based on the statements from local vendors and business leaders on Koh Larn and Jomtien Beach, those fears currently appear to be unfounded as many are staying put.

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Goong is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for closing in on two years. Specializes primarily in local news for Pattaya and Phuket, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket except when commuting between the two.