by Guest Writer (who asked to be anonymous)
In response to an article ‘Pattaya tourist slump – visitors leaking to Vietnam‘, a responder on The Thaiger Facebook page has provided a balanced response we thought we would share with you. Is nostalgia making us think that Pattaya and Thailand were really that great in the past or are the golden days of Thai tourism truly over?
The writer has asked to remain anonymous due to his professional association with the tourism and recreational industry…
So many reasons other than just price.
Thailand (not just Pattaya) is an old tourist destination now compared to many that still shows photos taken 20 years ago and still thinks things are the same. Sadly the “Thai smile” is not what it once was.
The problem is Thailand is known for pristine beaches and islands but they are not what they once were. The water, beaches and streets are not clean as before and often overcrowded with people, speedboats, vendors, touts driving you mad and anything else that can fit in.
Thailand has suffered from too many years of greedy, unrestricted overdevelopment and increasingly unsustainable numbers in such small locations.
Thailand did not have much local competition 20 years ago but now it has. Places like Sihanoukville in Cambodia are creating a new type of Pattaya for the Chinese, including the casinos they want, and direct flights with much less developed island areas.
Vietnam is new and probably where Thailand was 20 years ago and probably won’t make the same mistakes. Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are all developing destinations. Pattaya is now an extension of Bangkok with terrible traffic and filthy buses everywhere.
The tourism management needs to start again with fresh thinking, stop the problems from overdevelopment and find a way to sell Thailand more competitively as it is “now”, with new alternatives.
A few hard pills need to be swallowed.
Pattaya coastline 1982
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