PATTAYA: Indian tourists are either postponing or cancelling their trips to Pattaya as their government now requires them to be tested for Covid-19 before their return home, according to the Thai Hotels Association.
Sanphet Supbowornsathian, president of the Eastern Chapter of the association, said the new requirement for travellers from Thailand and four other countries to produce negative RT-PCR tests had prompted big groups of Indian tourists to either cancel or postpone their trips to Thailand.
Thailand is one of five countries singled out in the new rule that New Delhi introduced on Jan 1, along with China (including Hong Kong), Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
“The mandatory RT-PCR tests raise the costs of tourists and they are delaying their visits. Only small groups (of Indian tourists) remain,” Mr Sanphet said on Tuesday.
He quoted major Indian tour firms as reporting that some of their customers had postponed their planned trips for a few months.
The situation was affecting hoteliers and restaurateurs in Pattaya, as Indian tourists were a major market for the resort city and for Thailand, he added.
India was the country’s second-largest source of tourists last year, with nearly 925,000 arrivals as of Dec 22. Malaysia led all countries with 1.8 million visitors, according to Immigration Bureau data.