Once a bustling centre of commerce and socialising, Chatuchak Market has been much quieter since reopening after being closed down because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the State Railway of Thailand is cooperating with local authorities in Bangkok and City Hall to try to revive the famous market back to its previous thriving glory.
As with most of the tourism revamping that the government of Thailand announces, City Hall declared the goal to make Chatuchak Market into a “world-class tourist destination.” The governor of the State Railway of Thailand met with Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt to discuss a revitalisation plan.
The two government entities plan to work together because, while the market is managed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, it actually sits on land that is owned by the SRT. They are preparing to develop Chatuchak Market, and their first plan of action is to create a new market committee that will oversee work between the BMA and the SRT.
Chatuchak Market now is stuck in a precarious position similar to many tourism businesses and activities: the low amount of visitors due to Covid closures and restrictions has driven out many vendors, reducing the size and liveliness of the market. This, in turn, creates less interest in customers and tourists who aren’t excited to go to a market that is only half open and not busy. The market remains stuck in a vicious cycle of vendors not opening because there are not enough tourists and tourists not coming because there are not enough vendors.
This renewed joint effort to revive the market will focus on this issue first and then look at plans to regulate street vendors while creating cheap rental space that low-earning stalls can utilise. The SRT also has plans already to plant trees and renovate roads around the railway. Governor Chadchart says the existing contract can be used to handle matters of financial debt between the SRT and the Bangkok government.
SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand
Issued The Thaiger 11.July 2022