Hoteliers in Pattaya call for assistance, say foreign buyers sniffing around

Hoteliers in Pattaya call for assistance, say foreign buyers sniffing around

No tourists at this hotel in Pattaya, in Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)
No tourists at this hotel in Pattaya, in Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

CHON BURI: Hoteliers in Pattaya have warned that if they do not get assistance with outstanding loans many could end up in the hands of foreign investors.

Phisut Sae-khu, president of the hotel association of the eastern region, said on Friday that hundreds of hotel operators in Pattaya and in the East in general were in dire financial straits after nearly two years of Covid-19.

Many were struggling to keep their business afloat and pinned their hopes on Pattaya being able to reopen to tourists on Oct1 as planned. 

Although most tourists would not be from the same groups as before, the arrival of Thai tourists would still be of help to the tourism sector in Pattaya, Mr Phisut said.

If the pandemic entered a third year, into 2022, and there was still no sign that Pattaya could reopen to normal tourism, many hotels in the resort city would end up in the hands of foreign investors. Local hoteliers could not continue to carry the heavy financial burden, he said.

Groups of foreign investors, mostly Chinese, were interested in buying hotels in Pattaya, the hotel association president said.

He called on the government to pay more attention to the plight of the hotel sector and introduce measures to seriously address their problems. This should include suspension of loan payments to financial institutions that hoteliers had borrowed from to keep their businesses running.

Interest rates should be also cut, he said. 

If remedial action was not taken, the crisis in the tourism sector would persist. Hotel operators would be left with no choice but to sell their businesses to foreign investors.

A huge amount of revenue from tourism would then flow out of the country, Mr Phisut said.

Phisut Sae-khu, president of the hotel association in the eastern region, calls on the government to assist hoteliers in Pattaya, and warns that Chinese buyers are looking to acquire hotels there. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)



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