Former Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome’s dream of creating Pattaya Brand products has been revived, with city officials again trying to train residents to make distinctive goods at home to sell for extra income.
Deputy City Manager Sutham Petchket opened the Aug. 28-29 workshop at the Prima Wongamat Hotel for about 70 housewives and community leaders.
Instructors from Burapha University, who signed on to the revived project Aug. 10, taught the first class, which focused on ways to differentiate their products and respond to market demands and, at the same time, meet standards for trademarks.
Itthiphol launched his Pattaya Brand initiative in 2012 to bring more revenue to the city and neighboring communities by raising the standard of tourism-related businesses to meet the needs of international and local commercial markets. The idea was first aimed at hotels, restaurants and stores, but soon devolved into a plan to put more cash into the pockets of ordinary citizens and the poor by letting them make and sell trinkets to tourists.
It took a year for Itthiphol to organize the first training session and he announced plans to spend 21 million baht to construct a three-story market and administrative office at the south end of Walking Street.
No further training was held and the market was never built. The idea of a Pattaya Brand was thought to have died when Itthiphol and the city council was replaced in 2015.
Apparently not. As part of the central government’s new Niyom Yung Yuean, or community self-development project, the idea of creating Pattaya-branded locally made goods resurfaced and a contract to train locals was signed with Burapha.