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Hua HIn | Reopening Delay

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  • Hua HIn | Reopening Delay

    Hua Hin calls for delay in reopening amid Covid-19 infections

    Prachuap Khiri Khan, the Western province that is home to tourist magnet Hua Hin, may not be ready for reopening in just over a week. Amid spiking Covid-19 infections, some officials in Hua Hin are calling for a delay, pushing back reopening for the town until December.

    The province had 240 infections in today’s report, half as many as the day before after experiencing a spike over the last few days. The last 7 days have seen 1,698 new Covid-19 infections, averaging 242 a day. That’s nearly 4 times higher than the same 7-day period last month, which saw 457 infections, or an average of 65 infections per day.

    But, unlike Chiang Mai that uncovered clusters in markets and suspect spread from illegal gatherings, Prachuap Khiri Khan is tracing their Covid-19 infections to a different source: migrant and immigrant workers. The majority of infections recently have been in Pran Buri district, where 362 of Saturday’s 445 reported infections were found.

    A good chunk of those infections was traced to 4 factories that produce canned fruit as well as the staff dorms at the construction site of a dual-track railway project underway. Many of those who tested positive for the virus are Burmese workers.

    The surges of infections are worrisome as the resort town of Hua Hin is experiencing a parallel surge in hotel bookings this holiday weekend. Many local businesses are fearful that the influx of tourists in the town could lead to big outbreaks with Covid-19 spiking in the province as well as nearby provinces as the tourists return home after a long weekend holiday.

    An advisor to the Hua Hin-Cha Am Tourism Business Association expressed the concern of the local businesses and called for the reopening of their city to be delayed until December instead of joining the November 1 reopening plan along with many provinces around Thailand in order to get the Covid-19 infections under control.

  • #2
    Soft tourism openings expected for Hua Hin and Cha-am in last quarter of 2021

    The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects a soft re-opening for the holiday destinations of Hua Hin and Cha-am during the last quarter of 2021. In total, deputy TAT governor Nithee Seeprae says both resort cities are only expected to receive 5% of 2019’s foreign tourist numbers. According to a Bangkok Post report, he says foreign tourists cannot stay in either city on their first night as they are over 2 hours from the capital.

    According to Nithee, most foreign arrivals have opted for the districts of Pran Buri and Thap Sakae over Hua Hin and Cha-am. In the days before Covid-19, Hua Hin welcomed around a million foreign visitors a year, while Cha-am received around 500,000 annually. Both cities have become reliant on domestic tourism, with Nithee saying they’re unlikely to attract the foreign tourists who are more drawn to places like Phuket.

    He goes on to say that Air Asia are considering launching a service from Kuala Lumpur to Hua Hin and Jetstar are planning to operate flights from Singapore. Nithee is hopeful the flights from Kuala Lumpur could attract more Malaysian golfers to Hua Hin.

    Meanwhile, Krod Rojanastien, who heads up the Hua Hin Recharge programme, says the occupancy rate in Hua Hin is currently only around 30%, but expected to double in December.

    “Bookings from Thailand Pass will be seen after November 10, with operators expecting between 500 and 1,000 travellers a month, with spending per trip doubling to 80,000 THB, and an average length of stay of 7 days.” Karun Suttharomn from the Tourism Council of Phetchaburi says marketing campaigns are underway to attract more visitors during the last month of the year. He believes the hotel occupancy rate could reach 70% – 75% thanks to domestic tourism.