Thailand's tourist haven Pattaya devastated as coronavirus hits travel

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Pattaya, Thailand, mar. 29 (BNA): Business in Thailand’s tourist haven of Pattaya has ground to a standstill after worldwide travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.


For one of the world’s most famed tourism hotspots, the economic devastation is near-total and business owners say they have not seen anything like it for four decades. 


“Our organization has halted business 100%. Pattaya is a tourist city, we rely mostly on them. The whole city is affected by the virus,” Alcazar  executive Pawin Phettrakul told Reuters. 


In normal times, the theater sees over a thousand tourists daily, but now there are zero. Alcazar is not planning on laying off its staff at the moment, but the foreseeable future seems bleak. Thailand depends on tourism for around 12% of its GDP, but in Pattaya, nearly the entire economy runs on visitors.


According to Reuters, the resort town saw over 15 million visitors in 2018, according to the 2019 Chonburi Provincial Statistical Report, which was already a 20% drop from the previous year. 


The city in recent years has been trying to shed its old image and has promoted family-friendly entertainment and boat tours in the city.