Pattaya tourism officials said they plan to boost efforts to attract Thai tourists to offset the loss of Chinese tour groups, but that’s not going to help complaining beer bar owners.
Pattaya Business & Tourism Association President Ekasit Ngampichet said Soi 7 and Soi 8 bar owners, in particular, were moaning about a dearth of western and Asian customers, with some estimating business is down 70 percent.
Bar owners are attributing the plunge in business to fear over the Chinese coronavirus and Beijing’s imposition of a ban on overseas tour groups. Some said many bar hostesses have been forced to find other jobs.
In response, Ekasit said business leaders and the Tourism Authority of Thailand are brainstorming ideas to increase the number of Thai tourists, even though they don’t visit the city’s tourist bars.
Some efforts also will be made to increase marketing to India, he added.
Pattaya attracted 18 million visitors in 2019, although half of those were Thai. Chinese tourists accounted for 2.5 million of the other 9 million, followed by Indians, Russians and South Koreans.