While the latest tourist arrival statistics released by the Department of Tourism show that, only in August, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals was still on the rise year-on-year (up 11,34%) and Chinese tourists (891.382 nationwide) still accounted for nearly one third (31.01%) of all tourist arrivals in August, business operators in Pattaya are now reporting a sharp drop in arrivals from China.
Due to the government’s ongoing crackdown on so-called “zero-dollar tours”, tourism industry representatives are now complaining that the number of Chinese visitors to Pattaya has recently dropped by approx. 50% and hotel bookings have fallen drastically during the Chinese national holiday (October 1-9).
The Nation quotes the president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association (PBTA) as saying:
Since the government moved to crack down on ‘zero dollar tours’ nationwide, arrivals from China inevitably plunged not only in Pattaya but also all major destinations.
What is more, according to the director of the Thai Hotel association (THA), not only is the number of Chinese arrivals in Pattaya currently decreasing dramatically, the Russians – another key tourism source market – are also increasingly opting for Phuket instead of Pattaya.
On a positive note, some tourism business operators in Pattaya are hoping that the government’s clampdown on zero-dollar tours may eventually lead to an increase in the number of “quality tourists” from Thailand.
And well, while a sharp drop in arrivals from China, and increasing numbers of Russian tourists heading for Phuket rather than Pattaya, are obviously bad news for the local tourism industry and hotel operators, we’re quite sure that many Farang visitors will obviously not mind a slight drop in arrivals especially from China and Russia.
In fact, we would argue that decreasing numbers of Chinese and Russians in Pattaya might also turn out to be a huge chance for the city’s ailing entertainment industry and eventually help lure some high-spending Western visitors back to Pattaya?