Thailand’s Hua Hin struggles to rebuild tourism with only eight visitors so far
Since Thailand reopened on November 1st, it has attracted more than 40,000 international travellers. The usually popular beach town of Hua Hin, in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, has, however, only seen eight foreign tourists arrive.
According to Prachuap Khiri Khan’s provincial health office, these tourists entered the country via the “Thailand Pass”. So far, none of them have been found to be infected with COVID-19.
President of Thai Spa Association, Krod Rojanastien, who was among the main drivers for the “Hua Hin Recharge” scheme, admits that the number of foreign tourists in Hua Hin is much lower than initially anticipated. He suggests that the government should resolve issues surrounding the use of the “Thailand Pass”, such as the uploading of documents, switching from RT-PCR tests to antigen tests and allowing direct flights to Hua Hin.
Vice President of the Thai Hotels Association Udom Srimahachota, who is also an advisor to the Hua Hin-Cha-am Tourism Association, revealed that hotel bookings for November and December, especially among small and medium sized hotels, are very low, compared to the year before.
At the same time, many of the hotels advise their customers to stay in Bangkok for one night, in accordance with the government’s preventive measures, before travelling to Hua Hin, as the cost for one-day quarantine would be cheaper than in Hua Hin, especially with RT-PCR tests.
Meanwhile, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced that 44,774 international travellers have entered Thailand between November 1st and 13th, with the likelihood that the numbers will increase.
November 13th saw most international travellers arrive, with 5,256 across various airports, with most entering the country through Phuket International Airport.
So far, 52 tourists have been found to be infected with COVID-19, which accounts for 0.12% of all international arrivals since November 1st.
Meanwhile, the government’s spokesman said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is satisfied with the number of international arrivals so far.
The government also announced that flights from Europe and the Middle East arriving in Thailand have increased. The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Company (AEROTHAI) expects the number of international flights to increase to an average of 990 flights per day, up by 25% compared to last month.
The government’s spokesman also stated that the overall COVID-19 situation in the south has improved and the government aims to reopen borders in the region at the end of this year.