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The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated Pattaya’s business owners’ livelihoods. As the country is slowly on track to ease restrictions, many are hoping for the long struggle to be finally over. Is there hope on the horizon, or is Pattaya slowly dying and withering away?

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Business owners in Pattaya have faced dark times. Coronavirus restrictions have meant no income for months, while still having to pay rents, accommodation, food, and utility bills. No business wants to abandon their employees either, unfortunately, some haven’t had a choice.

A stroll on the Soi Buakhao reveals an increasing number of shutdowns, where the owners were forced to pack up and close the premises for good. Bar for sale -sign makers are probably one of the lucky few businesses that haven’t faced the trouble of finding customers.

Pattaya’s bars are desperate to reopen and return to normal.

COVID-19 has hit Pattaya’s bar industry especially hard. Most bar owners are living in constant uncertainty, waiting desperately for the government to announce the date when the restrictions will be lifted.

How long do they have to wait? Most are already setting their hopes at the 1st of July, but in reality — who knows? The re-opening could still be months away. And even if the government announces the date, the return of tourists will take time. Pattaya needs to embrace for a quiet rest of the year, and make an attempt for a comeback in 2021.

As a resort city, Pattaya’s economy is solely dependent on tourism. While the reopened beaches are seeing more and more people, the pubs and bars remain shuttered. At least restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol, which might be the first baby steps towards recovery. If there’s no new cases the future looks promising, but in the worst case the restrictions will be placed back, resulting in more business for the sign makers There’s a glimpse of hope though, but it’s better to manage our exceptions. It might still take until the end of the year until many of the workers trust to return back from their countryside.

The infamous Walking Street remains abandoned — for now.

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