Nong Nooch free to Chonburi Thais in Feb.
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden will offer free admission to Thais around the country to offset the loss of Chinese visitors to the coronavirus.
Park Director Kampol Tansajja told a meeting of Pattaya-area officials and tourism leaders that Nong Nooch will be free for Thais with identification cards issued in Chonburi during February. Another province will be selected for March and each month after during which the Chinese government’s ban on overseas tours continues.
Beijing ordered a halt to all foreign tours as one measure to control the spread of the virus that causes a deadly form of pneumonia. The ban will hit Thailand hard, as one in three foreign tourists come from China.
Joining Kampol at the meeting at Nong Nooch were Chonburi Deputy Gov. Thammasak Rattanathanya, Vice Adm. Kritchaphon Rianglekjamnong, the director of U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya Airport, Tourism Authority of Thailand Pattaya Director Pinnart Charoenpol and Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh.
All bemoaned the loss of tourist revenue and said everyone in the industry should brainstorm ideas to offset the loss. Kampol predicted things would not return to normal for quite a while.
Kritchaphon said the airport will lose substantial business from Chinese charter flights, but carried through with the installation of body-temperature scanners to ensure anyone coming through the airport is checked in case of fever.