PATTAYA: Operators of sunbeds and umbrellas at Pattaya beach say the latest surge in Covid-19 cases has put their livelihoods in jeopardy as visits to the resort city have dropped to about 10% of normal levels.
Though service providers are strictly complying with Covid prevention measures by cleaning and using disinfectant spray, tourists were hesitant to spend their holidays in Pattaya, said Somchai Jainukul, chairman of the umbrella and sunbed operators' club in Pattaya.
Thai tourists usually flock to Pattaya on weekends because it is only 140km from Bangkok. But lately the number of visitors has been only about 10% of normal, he estimated.
Operators were dealt a further blow when the provincial disease control committee ordered the postponement of the Pattaya Music Festival, which was planned to take place every week throughout March, said Mr Somchai.
The panel said the festival would be postponed until further notice. As a result, many local operators are now waiting desperately for tourism to revive, he said.
Chon Buri on Saturday reported 1,310 new Covid-19 cases and two fatalities. Si Racha district had the highest number of new cases at 458, followed by Bang Lamung with 316 and Muang district with 22, according to the provincial public relations office.
An employee of a stall proving sunbed and umbrella rentals sprays alcohol on a cushion in Pattaya. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)