Koh Larn sees spike in visitors as Pattaya frets

Koh Larn sees spike in visitors as Pattaya frets

CHON BURI: More than 130,000 tourists have visited Koh Larn, a popular tourist island off Pattaya, this month and the number is expected to surge as Chinese tour groups start arriving in Pattaya.

Manote Nongyai, deputy mayor of Pattaya City, said yesterday municipal officials had been counting the number of visitors boarding passenger boats at Bali Hai pier in South Pattaya bound for Koh Larn since March 1.

Over the past fortnight, they counted about 130,000 tourists, or more than 10,000 visitors daily. Of the total, 70% were Thais, said Mr Manote. The rest were mostly from Russia, India and European countries.

There are still some Covid-19 prevention measures in Pattaya, but they have been reduced to body temperature checks, he said.

The arrival of more tourists has been a welcome boost to Pattaya’s economy after more than two years in the doldrums because of the pandemic, he said.

Arrivals will get a further boost now that China is allowing tour groups to travel abroad. Facilities at tourist venues such as Na Ban pier and Ta Waen beach pier and roads will be developed to cater to the crowds.

However, he acknowledged the number of hotel rooms was insufficient to serve the rising number of tourists.