By: Dustin Angeles
Despite international borders opening up and tourists coming into Thailand’s famous Khaosan Road, business owners have yet to recover from the great economic impacts brought by the pandemic.
Visitors from all over the globe have walked the 400-meter strip, lured by the busy nightlife, cheap street cuisine, stores, and hotels.
It used to be known as the “Never Sleeping Street.” Khaosan Road, on the other hand, appears to be desolate today. “It’s like a graveyard,” shared food vendor Supaporn Promto with Channel News Asia. At the top of the street, her northeastern Thai cuisine stall is deserted. When there are few visitors to the neighborhood, its great position becomes unimportant.
“It used to be so lively with tourists. At night, people almost had to jostle when they walked,” she added. “It’s totally different now.”
Thailand’s Tourism Authority predicted that several admission options will draw at least 700,000 visitors to the country this year. The tourism sector is expected to produce 1.58 trillion baht (US$45.7 billion) in 2022, with overseas travelers accounting for 818 billion baht.
Various enterprises embraced what they anticipated would be the start of a rebound and restarted operations after a long break, thanks to loosened COVID-19 rules.
However, many of the shops along the famed Khaosan Road are still closed. The bars and nightclubs that line the street are now prohibited from reopening. They’re classified as night entertainment places, which, according to the authorities, pose a danger of coronavirus transmission.
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Friday that its intention to explore reopening night entertainment establishments in December has been postponed.
CCSA spokeswoman Taweesin Visanuyothin said operations may be permitted to restart on January 15, depending on the scenario, citing worries about ventilation and coronavirus transmission.
Featured image from AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha