If you have been anywhere in Pattaya in the last two or three months, you will have noticed how quiet the roads are. Gone are the Chinese tour coaches along Beach Road and gone are the Chinese tourists flocking to Bali Hai Pier. Of course, some ex-pats may welcome this change, living in a quieter city. Still, for business owners, it is nothing short of a nightmare with most being affected either directly or indirectly by the lack of tourists.
In the past 12-18 months, we have seen no end of expat-owned businesses being forced to close their doors for good due to the lack of western visitors. The outbreak of the coronavirus has now compounded the problem. Chinese tourists makeup by far and away from the largest single group of tourists, not only in Pattaya but in Thailand overall. Some hotels are reporting that occupancy levels stand at around 10%, which is putting them under extreme pressure, even the larger hotel chains.
Will they return and what happens next?
Of course, the hope and expectation is that these groups will return, but there are no guarantees. Chinese numbers were lower than expected in 2019, so perhaps a return to previous levels may be ambitious. Pattaya has always been looking for the next big opportunity and even before the outbreak, City Hall was turning more towards the Indian market. However, will this be good or bad for local businesses? Only time will tell, but existing businesses may well struggle.
Are you affected?
Many British ex-pats have decided that enough is enough and decided to head back to the UK. Many have long-term Thai girlfriends or Thai wives so they want them to come with them to the UK, often on a UK Settlement Visa so they can start again back in the UK.
Talk to Us!
We can assist you with any UK Visa. We can help your Thai girlfriend get a UK Tourist Visa or your wife to obtain a UK Spouse Visa as we deal with the British Embassy in Bangkok daily we know what is required. So, if you would like more information, call us on +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively contact us via our website.