The ease of lockdown measures in Chonburi has not significantly stimulated sales and income, only essentially letting the ice business break-even, a local ice factory operator told reporters today, October 17th.
Boon-anan Pattanasin, an executive of a subsidiary company of the prominent ice company Raja Group, gave the local Pattaya press their feedback after the relaxation of some activities and businesses and the shortened curfew hours have been implemented in 23 provinces of the highest and strict control or dark-red zone areas, including Chonburi, since October 1st.
Dijo que ha habido un cierto aumento en las ventas de los operadores de negocios de agua potable y fabricación de hielo durante los viernes, sábados, domingos y días festivos, pero todavía no eran mucho, ya que no muchas tiendas y establecimientos están abiertos para dar la bienvenida a los turistas nacionales.
Some of those restaurants and establishments will also be closed and do not order ingredients and supplies for their stock during the weekdays as there are no tourists and the number of customers is still unpredictable. Additionally, the continued closure of bars, nightlife, and entertainment and ban on alcohol at restaurants was a significant hit to the bottom-line of the ice industry as well, something Boon-anan stated that many people do not think about when considering the ice sector.
Boon-anan told reporters: “We still have orders on a day-to-day basis but local shops and restaurants would not order to keep items in stock for a long time. They are also afraid that the government might issue an urgent announcement to close their businesses at any time and they might lose a lot of costs if it happened.”
“Therefore, the overall sales of drinking water and ice in the company during the weekdays could only help us sustain the business. More income would be made during weekends when there were domestic tourists from Bangkok or other provinces visiting.”
The entrepreneur further stated that although the government has proposed to “reopen” the country this November, the number of foreign visitors who would visit Chonburi is still unpredictable. While opening the country, the operator also urged the government to stimulate Thai tourists, such as organizing activities and discounts to promote domestic tourism.
The executive added: “The announcement of reopening surely is good news for shops, restaurants, and other businesses operators. However, it might take some time to settle things in places and that might not possibly happen until after January 2022 as there would also take some time, at least 15 days to 1 month, for foreign tourists who will wish to travel here to prepare documents, make flights and accommodation reservations. Additionally, it is unknown when all sectors, especially the entertainment and bar sector, will be allowed to reopen, which is significant for the ice industry. Another factor is when curfew will be completely lifted and restaurants will be allowed to serve all night once again, another helpful factor.”
“But at the moment, the government has not announced clear measures for incoming tourists. So, entrepreneurs themselves do not want to invest a lot of money in buying and preparing for the business in advance as they are still not confident in the government’s hot-and-cold actions.” Boon-anan concluded.
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