There is a very obvious reason why Hua Hin and neighbouring Cha Am are yet to welcome a single foreign tourist following Thailand’s reopening on Nov 1.
Anyone who enters Thailand under the current ‘Test & Go’ policy is required to spend the first night of their stay at an approved SHA+ hotel which must be located within two hours of one of the airports included in the opening.
Hua Hin airport is not one of the airports included in the reopening.
Most foreigners entering Thailand, which on average has been approximately 2,000 per day since November 1, are arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, which rules out Hua Hin and Cha Am as destinations people are immediately able to visit.
As well as Bangkok, other destinations such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya, whose airports (U-Tapao for Pattaya) are included in the reopening, are likely to draw more tourists, particularly given that they are all already more established tourist destinations than Hua Hin.
Hua Hin’s tourism market is currently being driven almost entirely by domestic tourists.
However, the situation is expected to improve.
Krod Rojanastien, who has headed up the Hua Hin Recharge project, told local Thai media that he expects the number of foreign tourists to visit Hua Hin to increase from Nov 10.
Meanwhile, Air Asia is expected to recommence flights to Hua Hin from Kuala Lumpur before the end of the year, while flights connecting Hua Hin and Singapore are proposed for early next year.