The bustling coastal province of Chonburi has ordered that hotels and tourist attractions may close until further notice at the industry’s request.
Though no new COVID-19 cases have been found there for the past week, Chonburi Gov. Pakkaratorn Tianchai on Thursday invoked the emergency decree to request all such venues close at the request of the Eastern Hotels Association and some local hotel operators.
They proposed the closure in the wake of very low occupancy, saying that letting workers go would at least make them eligible for social security and other benefits.
Hotels who want to continue operating must petition the authorities within seven days, according to the order.
Tanate Suparasahasrangsi, acting president of the Tourism Council of Chonburi, said this year’s closures differ from those of nearly a year ago because the businesses cannot seek any government compensation or relief.
Since COVID-19 infections began spreading again mid-December, Chonburi has reported 648 infections and one death in its seven districts. The most were found in Sriracha district (308 infections) while the Bang Lamung district, home to the coastal enclave of Pattaya, has reported 238.
Ed. Note: An earlier version of this story included a photo of the Hilton Pattaya hotel, which remains open for business. The story has been further clarified to indicate that not all venues have closed.