Hua Hin Opens To Locals
As Hua Hin opens to locals, more Thai people have been travelling to the coastal town in Prachuap Khiri Khan province given the partial easing of Covid-19 restrictions. The proposed reopening to foreign arrivals in October, however, should be postponed, said Vice President of Thai Hotels Association Udom Srimahachota.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will soon decide on the proposed reopening of the resort, more popular among Thai tourists than foreigners, under the “Hua Hin Recharge” scheme.
With some lockdown measures eased in late August, hotels in Hua Hin, including those on Cha-am beach in Phetchaburi province, developed promotions to attract tourists and Khun Udom expects their numbers to increase.
The association’s Vice President, who’s also an advisor to the Hua Hin-Cha-am Tourism Association, explained that normally Thai people travel to Hua Hin and Cha-am in October, as it coincides with the school break and the high-season. Some 75% of the tourists are Thais.
As such, he doesn’t really agree with the “Hua Hin Recharge” scheme, which is expected to welcome foreign tourists from 1st October without a quarantine, but with the requirement for several RT-PCR tests, as Thai people might be afraid to come.
He suggests that it would be better to postpone the “Hua Hin recharge” scheme to December, as there would be more foreign tourists arriving, mostly coming from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, France and Switzerland.
When asked about expected revenue, he said that up to Bt1 billion per month can be generated if the third phase of the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) scheme and the “Tour Tiew Thai” programme are approved by this October. He thinks it is also possible that “Hua Hin recharge” will generate up to Bt1.2 billion within three months.
The reopening of Hua Hin and Cha-am should, however, be done in parallel, because tourists often travel between the two areas, Khun Udom said, adding that the “Hua Hin recharge”scheme should also cover the entire provinces of PrachuapKhiri Khan and Phetchaburi, and should reopen when 80-100% of their populations are fully vaccinated, which includes tourists, business owners, staff and the general public.
Currently, Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, and Surat Thani are the only provinces welcoming foreign arrivals in the “sandbox” scheme.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha initially declared the whole of Thailand will completely reopen to overseas visitors by mid-October, but with the continued spread of Covid-19, he has backtracked on the promise, saying during the recent censure debate that if complete reopening is not possible by then, only some sectors will.
Source: Thai PBS World.