Hotel owners on Thailand’s eastern seaboard and Pattaya fear that if they do not get help with outstanding loans, many could end up in the hands of foreign investors.
In an interview with the Bangkok Post yesterday Mr Phisut Saekhu, president of the Eastern Region Hotel Association, said that hundreds of hotel operators in Pattaya and on Thailand’s eastern seaboard are in dire financial difficulty after nearly two years of Covid19.
Many of Thailand’s eastern seaboard Hotel operators are struggling to keep their businesses afloat. Many are praying that Pattaya and the surrounding areas will reopen to foreign tourists on October 1st, as planned.
Mr Phisut said that although most foreign tourists would not come from the same groups as before, the arrival of Thai tourists would be very helpful to the tourism sector in Pattaya and the eastern seaboard.
If the pandemic enters a third year and there are no signs that Pattaya can fully reopen, many hotels in the resort town will end. The local hoteliers will no longer be able to bear the heavy financial burden, he said.
Chinese Hotel Buyers
Groups of foreign investors, mostly Chinese, have shown great interest in buying hotels in Pattaya. The President of the Hotel Association urged the government to pay more attention to the difficult situation in the hotel sector and to take measures to better address the suspension of loan payments to financial institutions that hoteliers had borrowed from to keep their businesses going.
“If corrective action is not taken, the crisis in the tourism sector will continue. Hotel operators will have no choice but to sell their businesses to foreign investors and a large part of the tourism revenue will flow out of the country, ”Phisut said.
Pattaya and eastern seaboard hotels are ready for the scheduled reopening on Oct. 1, however, Mr Phisut doubts how many overseas tourists would like to visit Chon Buri and Pattaya as they continue to stay in limited areas and use certain routes for the first seven days of their stay the so-called ‘Pattaya Moves On’ scheme that has been prepared.
‘The Pattaya Moves On’ scheme includes Bang Lamung District, Sattahip District and Pattaya City, its only for tourists who tested negative for Covid19 after seven days can travel freely.
The government, along with Bangkok, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chiang Mai, want to spearhead their plans to reopen to foreign tourists on October 1st, however Thailand must hit a 70% vaccination target by the end of this month to get the green light the Ministry of Public Health, he said.