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Pattaya Daily News

10 October 2008 :: 18:10:08 pm 3516

Pattaya Attempts to Improve Drop in Tourism

Mr. Ittipol Kunpluem, Pattaya City Mayor, concerned about the falling tourist numbers, held a meeting with local business owners to discuss what to do about the problem. Constructive suggestions were made, but no final solution was arrived at.
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Pattaya, the 10th of October 2008 [Pattaya Daily News]: Because of the current political crisis in Thailand, especially with the police firing teargas at Bangkok protesters, the situation now is getting worse and it has had a negative effect on the tourism business to Pattaya. The main tourist attractions, especially Walking Street, are virtually deserted. Now, at the beginning of the high season, when one would expect to see the beaches, baht buses and shopping malls gradually growing more full of tourists, it is evident that the longed-for return is just not happening.

This comes after numerous countries have again issued tourism warnings to their citizens advising them not to travel to Thailand. The first travel warning happened at the beginning of the political crisis, but when no violence occurred, the travel warnings were withdrawn, but now the violence has started with the police and para-military crackdown, the second warning was issued and remains in place. Mr Ittipol said that Pattaya is having problems as regards Asian tourists, especially the Chinese tourists, many of whom have cancelled their bookings. Russia, on the other hand, has no problem and their citizens will continue to come to Pattaya.

Representatives of PDN, including the publisher, attended the meeting at City Hall with the intention of making a constructive contribution. The first impression was that the committee were not replete with positive solutions. There was a tendency to focus on the negative sentiments published in the press.

However, what suggestions were made are as follows:


1. advise the media to focus on positive rather than negative aspects;
2. tell readers that Pattaya has remained untouched by events in Bangkok;
3. explain that there are no problems travelling from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya;
4. write letters to all the tour agencies to assure them that Pattaya has no problem, and it still safe to travel here;
5. encourage local tourists, especially from Bangkok;
6. spend 5 million baht on events such as Loygratong, and the Christmas/new year count down.

Note: We noticed that a lot of business people were disappointed that they never had a chance to discuss the problems and submit solutions. Most of the time, the local government officers and the city members did all the presentation and formed the conclusions themselves. We feel that it would have been more constructive in the form of a forum with equal give and take from the presenters and audience.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Business News

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Keith Saadat