Eastern hotels to offer more golf packages in 2013

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The head of the Thai Hotels Association’s Eastern Region said members will offer more golf tours and sports-related packages to attract Japanese and Indonesian tourists in 2013.

In an interview, Bundarik Kusolvitya said the association is extremely pleased with the recovery in Pattaya’s tourism market during 2012 and expects even more growth next year. That growth, however, will require hotels to expand their markets to attract more visitors from smaller markets.

Bundarik Kusolvitya. Bundarik Kusolvitya.

Japan and Indonesia, she said, are two of those. While Japanese, in particular, have always been present in Pattaya, their numbers have fallen substantially in the past five years. However, their high incomes and considerable spending power makes them a very attractive target, she said.

With 26 quality golf courses, the Eastern Seaboard has strong potential to attract more Japanese, Bundarik said. So hotels will offer more golf-related packages to entice visitors.

The hotels chief said she believes the local tourism market will continue to grow over an impressive 2012.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, 1.8 million visitors – predominantly Russians and Chinese – stayed in Pattaya during the three months ended Aug. 31. That compares with only 1.1 million during the same quarter a year ago.

Bundarik believes total numbers for Pattaya will show the city attracted 8 million visitors who spent about 90 billion baht. Much of the increase, she said, came from Russian and Middle Eastern tour groups.