Chonburi prepares ‘Pattaya Move On’ sandbox in bid to open by August

TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2021

Tourism operators in Pattaya are set to propose their very own tourism sandbox scheme, called “Pattaya Move On”, to the government to consider.

Thanet Supornsahatrangsi, acting chair of the Chonburi Tourism Industry Council, said the operators will propose the project to Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn and National Security Council secretary-general General Nattapol Nakpanit next week.

Pattaya Move On will allow vaccinated foreigners to enter Chonburi, provided they spend the first three days isolated in the hotel. After that, they will be allowed to travel to Bang Lamung and Sattahip districts, and go even further within the province after 14 days.

To kick off the project, 900,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines are required for the 450,000 residents of Bang Lamung and Sattahip districts.

Chonburi is one of the 10 provinces the government is planning to open to tourists without requiring mandatory quarantine from October. The other provinces are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, Phang Nga and Buri Ram.

“We will encourage the government to kick off the project in August, so we can iron out any problems that arise before fully opening the doors,” Thanet said.

He expects about 10,000 to 20,000 foreign tourists to visit Chonburi between August and September.

“The numbers should rise in October when people from Europe come to Thailand to escape winter,” he said.

He added that this project also aims to draw tourists from Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

Chairat Rattanopas, president of the Eastern Spa and Wellness Association, said only 6.97 million people visited Chonburi last year, far fewer than the 18.6 million in 2019.

“Thai and foreign tourists visiting Chonburi last year generated 66.49 billion baht, a lot less than 276.32 billion baht in 2019,” Chairat said

Phisut Sae-khu, president of the Thai Hotels Association – Eastern Chapter President, said only about 100 hotels of the more than 1,000 registered in Pattaya have opened for business.

Thitipas Siranatsrikul, chief of the Association of Chonburi Attractions, said some 15 tourist attractions are open for service and Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Ramayana Water Park, Cartoon Network Amazone, the Sanctuary of Truth and Tiffany's Show Pattaya are ready to join the project.