Central Festival General Manager Theeraporn Jitnawa joined executives from the Amari Orchid Resort & Tower, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office and the Rak Phaendin at the beachfront mall July 19 to kick off the “Pattaya in Love: City of Ocean Arts” project.
Central Festival General Manager Theeraporn Jitnawa joins executives from the Amari Orchid Resort & Tower, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office and the Rak Phaendin at the beachfront mall to kick off the “Pattaya in Love: City of Ocean Arts” project.
Four events between August and February will see marine animals released into the sea, coral reefs sunk and underwater activities for people, all to raise awareness about the need to preserve the marine environment.
Ironically, the symbol chosen by the group - the whale shark - is practically extinct in Pattaya, with the animal seen only a handful of times in the past decade.
Baby whale sharks will be set free in the first event Aug. 7-17, along with juvenile seahorses. Photographs and sculptures of the gentle giants - which live on plankton, not people - will be on display. Funds raised through sale of the artwork will go toward preservation of the environment and endangered animals.
From Oct. 24-26, 50,000 people will have an opportunity to sign a 15-meter-long floating model whale shark (not unlike the huge yellow rubber duck in Hong Kong) destined to be floated in Pattaya Bay to promote tourism.
From Jan. 30-31, artificial reefs will be submerged off Koh Phai, in Pattaya’s Far Islands chain, to become home for coral and fish as well as a place for scuba divers to take photos.
Finally, scuba-diving lovers will return to the Koh Phai site Feb. 13-15 for underwater marriage ceremonies on Valentine’s Day.