Cancellations cut hotel bookings in Pattaya by 50%
Hotel bookings in Pattaya have halved after the latest coronavirus wave began.
Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of Thailand’s Hotel Association, said hotels across the country saw a huge drop in business in January, with the nationwide occupancy rate this month expected to hover around 20%.
Tourist areas have seen a 25-50% drop in bookings since the start of the year, both due to cancellations by foreign tourists and Thais’ reluctance to travel for fear of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Chonburi and Pattaya, the epicenter of the latest wave of Covid-19 with more cases than any province over several days, has seen all of its tourism momentum wane.
On Wednesday, the province reported 506 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 256 in Banglamung district, which includes Pattaya. Hundreds of other unconfirmed or unreported cases discovered through home antigen testing are suspected.
The reasons for the decline in foreign and domestic tourism are many, Marisa said.
For international visitors, it is the combined effect of the suspension of the Test & Go tourist entry program on December 21, the reduction of the “sandbox” provinces from 17 to four (Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani and Phangnga ), the cancellation of flights to Thailand by international carriers, and the reluctance of foreigners to visit Thailand due to the global rise of omicron.
For Thais, the fear of the omicron is paramount, as is the willingness to do what the government tells them, which in this case is not to cross provincial borders. Companies have also banned employees from traveling within the country for fear of infections that could cripple operations.