Pattaya hotels and shows suspend operations amid latest Covid-19 wave

Around 20 tourist businesses in Pattaya have temporarily ceased operations due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the luxury hotels Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya, and D Varee Jomtien Beach Pattaya.

Following the flare-ups in local Covid-19 cases in Thailand especially in Chonburi Province, strict measures have been imposed and caused huge cancelations. Faced with no income, the hotels were forced to suspend operations rather than sink under their operating costs.

“In accordance with government and the Chonburi Provincial Health Office recommendations, … the decision has been taken to temporarily close Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya,” the resort wrote on its Facebook page.

D Varee Jomtien Beach Pattaya and Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya also announced that they both will temporarily close their services until further notice.

“We are provisionally aiming to re-open on February 1,” said Hard Rock Hotel.

Customers who participated in state-sponsored We Travel Together campaign will be refunded up to 60 per cent of their booking costs, local media reported.

Other tourism-related businesses in Chonburi that have suspended their operations are the Alcazar Show, Tiffany Show Pattaya, Pattaya Floating Market, Institute of Marine Science, Art in Paradise, Frost Magical Ice of Siam, The Million Years Stone Park & Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Upside Down House, and Pattaya Dolphinarium.

More pain on the way

The new wave of the Covid-19 outbreak will cost 6.9 million jobs and wipe 140 billion baht off Thailand’s trade and tourism revenue, which accounts for 22 per cent of gross domestic product, according to TMB Analytics.

The Ministry of Commerce predicted only 5 million tourists would visit the country in 2021, compared with around 40 million in 2019.

Vaccinations would likely cover half of the Thai population by year-end, an analyst at KGI securities said. “Although vaccination is not the end of the fight, we believe it could improve confidence in travelling and help manage further downside risks.”

For the last quarter of 2020, tourism stocks under KGI coverage would report a combined normalized loss of 6.1 billion baht, down by 2 per cent from the previous quarter.

However, the KGI analyst said that he still maintains long-term optimism over Thailand’s hotel sector as the recent national restrictions should be only a temporary hiccup. “We are confident in our long-term view backed by global vaccinations.”

Top picks in the hotel sector by KGI analysis include Siam Wellness Group (SPA), Minor International (MINT) , and Central Plaza Hotel (CENTEL). On the other hand, the Erawan Group (ERW) is lukewarm as uncertainties remain regarding financial risk.

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