Pattaya eyes tourism revival with nightlife until 2am again

PHOTO: Pattaya nightlife can now open until 2 am, a boon to tourism. (via Unsplash)

Pattaya is expecting a tourism revival now that the government has lifted another Covid-19 restriction and nightlife is allowed to open until 2 am. Pattaya mayor Poramet Ngampichet praised the easement, predicting it will open the door to tourists from around the world including the Middle East and the UK, and about 3 to 4 million tourists from India, who he believes will dump loads of money into the local tourism market now that Pattaya’s famous club and bar scene can go later into the night.

About 22 billion baht of revenue was generated between January and April of 2022, though a large portion of the 3.8 million visitors to Pattaya were local Thais taking advantage of the government’s “We Travel Together” programme that subsidised hotel costs. In 2019, before the pandemic, Pattaya’s tourism revenue reached about 300 billion baht, with 2 million Chinese visitors, along with large numbers from Russia, South Korea, and India, plus 5 million domestic travellers.

The first 4 months of this year saw only 65,000 foreign travellers in Pattaya but when the Test & Go scheme was lifted in May, another 40,000 arrived in a month. And while the mayor is not expecting a full tourism recovery back to the pre-pandemic era, the city is welcoming the upward trend of visitors and looking forward to upcoming events that were traditionally popular with tourists.

This month will see the Pattaya Marathon, scheduled for July 18 and 19, and in August or September, the Pattaya Music Festival will be held. In November, the popular Pattaya fireworks festival is in the work as well as other events.

The Pattaya mayor expects a shift from domestic to international tourists as the purchasing power of domestic tourists has been declining, though he cites a lack of international flight routes as a current barrier to an international tourism boom and calls for help.

“Despite Thailand reopening, the number of international flights to Thailand is still limited and the Tourism and Sports Ministry should step in to help.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.