Pattaya targets world class
Pattaya has launched a major campaign to put the coastal city on the world tourism map and enable it to compete with prestigious destinations like Miami and Nice on the French Riviera within seven years.
At present, Pattaya is positioned as a regional destination and is well known in Southeast Asia, with a reputation on a par with Phuket. Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome said that to reach its goal and achieve international standards, the city would need to improve its infrastructure, service quality, convenience and safety.
The strengths of the city are its proximity to airports and Bangkok, as well as its affordability, Itthiphol said.
Yesterday, he announced that the city’s look would be modernised. The move is part of a plan to promote Pattaya as having world-class standards. It would no longer be known solely as an entertainment and holiday destination for single tourists, but also as a draw for business and family groups, and those seeking cultural attractions, the mayor said.
Addressing safety concerns, Itthiphol said the city was cooperating with local-government authorities to crack down on crime and illegal business practices.
“There are a lot of attractive places for families, which some tourists may not be aware of. These include luxury accommodations, tasteful food outlets and beautiful islands nearby.”
One of the goals of the project is to make Pattaya a “movie city”. It is in talks with Universal Studios of the United States to set up production facilities. That deal is expected to be finalised in the next three years.
Pattaya is already a popular place for film shoots. However, its earnings from the motion-picture industry come mainly from spending on hotels and consumption by production crews. Promoting Pattaya as a “movie city” would boost the local economy by introducing facilities for film production, post-production and equipment supply, the mayor said.
However, the city would need to request that the Board of Investment offer tax incentives, especially tax waivers on the import of production equipment, he added.
Last year, 6.7 million tourists visited Pattaya – 70 per cent of them foreigners.