Pattaya sunbed operators lament lack of tourists
High number of Covid cases keep visitors away from resort
Only a few holidaymakers are seen on Pattaya beach on Saturday following a rise in Covid-19 cases in the resort town. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)
PATTAYA: Sunbed and umbrella operators on Pattaya beach say the latest surge in Covid-19 cases has put their livelihoods at risk as visits to the resort have dropped to around 10% of normal levels .
Although service providers are strictly adhering to Covid prevention measures by cleaning and using disinfectant spray, tourists were hesitant to vacation in Pattaya, said Somchai Jainukul, president of the umbrella and sun lounger operators club at Pattaya.
Thai tourists usually flock to Pattaya on weekends as it is only 140 km from Bangkok. But lately, visitor numbers have been only around 10% of normal, he estimated.
Operators received another blow when the provincial disease control committee ordered the postponement of the Pattaya Music Festival, which was due to take place weekly throughout March, Mr Somchai said.
The panel said the festival will be postponed until further notice. As a result, many local operators are now desperately waiting for tourism to resume, he said.
Chon Buri reported 1,310 new cases of Covid-19 and two deaths on Saturday. Si Racha district recorded the highest number of new cases with 458, followed by Bang Lamung with 316 and Muang district with 22, according to the provincial public relations office.
An employee of a deckchair and umbrella rental stand sprays alcohol on a cushion in Pattaya. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)