The trend ‘Goodbye Pattaya’ has gone viral on popular Thai social media groups as more people post online that they are leaving the hard-hit tourist city after a recent second period of Covid-19 related restrictions and closures and lack of tourists that have devastated the city that in 2019 was the 19th most visited city in the world with nearly ten million foreign visitors alone.
Photos and posts from “Pattaya Talk”, a popular Thai group on social media, went viral this week.
More people have seemed to understand accept that foreign tourists aren’t coming back anytime soon due to Covid-19 border restrictions and closures. Many rooms, building and houses are being sold or abandoned as many people leave back to their hometowns. Although some parts of town are still ok, such as the Dark Side or Jomtien and parts of LK Metro, other areas are now shadows of their past selves with rows and rows of empty shops and businesses. Some of the hardest hit areas are along Beach Road, Walking Street, Second Road, and in the formerly popular Arab and Indian portions of town.
An apartment complex owner Mr. Pasakorn Sunrarot told The Pattaya News, “Many people left their apartments since the first spread of the Covid -19 as they have no work.”
“After that everything seemed to get better before the new wave of the virus hit us again. “Now there is only one room that is being rented here in my entire complex of dozens of rooms.” Pasakorn said.
The downturn in the tourism dependent city has hit nearly every sector, The Pattaya News notes, and not just bars. Tailors, gift shops, clothing shops, tour offices, laundry shops, massage shops, Western style food places, fast food chains, and even many 7-11’s and Family Marts are now closed and vacant in the city besides entertainment venues and bars. For now, many have gone home hoping only that sometime later in the year quarantine will be dropped and foreigners can once again return to Thailand.