Pattaya Daily News

11 January 2007 :: 13:01:44 pm 23050

The Promise of Suvarnabhumi is symbolic of new face of Pattaya

The reputation of Pattaya has suffered much in the past, not least because of sensationalist articles in The Guardian (April 11, 2005),
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One of the UK’s leading newspapers, where Pattaya was described as being the new haven for British criminals in preference to the Costa del Sol and The Nation (Nov 7, 2005) which enumerated instances of mafia of all shapes and descriptions having made their home in Pattaya: Thai gangsters, Russian and Swedish mobsters, Pakistani conmen, west African drug and diamond dealers, English soccer hooligans, Australian boiler-room operators, Japanese extortionists and Canadian bikers running meth operations, even a gay mafia.

However, that was nearly two years ago and things are changing, not least because of the impetus given by Suvarnabhumi Airport, which authorities are hoping will bring an influx of wholesome tourists, notably families. “Developers are buying land to develop shopping malls, five-star hotels, and in a few years Pattaya will change its face,” says Chaiwat Charoensuk, the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office in Pattaya.
Up-market hotel chains like Sheraton and JW Marriott, for instance, are creating new developments adjacent to the beach, targeting both families and businessmen. The new large scale developments by Raimon Land at Northpoint and the proposed Ocean Tower condo will also aid the transformation. “We need the families to visit Pattaya, so it is our job to do something to change the image,” Mr Chaiwat maintains.
The police have also cracked down on organized crime and the recent attempts by the Thai Immigration authorities with the installation of CCTV at border posts and the change of visa regulations will do much to filter out criminal elements The Thai Tourist authorities are now earnestly hoping that the resort will undergo a radical transformation, from sleazy sex venue into a wholesome, family-friendly beach resort.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Business News

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