Pattaya businesses must realign strategies to suit Thai tastes, budgets

Sanphet Suphabuansathien says Pattaya businesses must realign to suit Thai tastes, budgets.

Pattaya hotels and tourist attractions must realign every part of their business to suit Thai tourists if they hope to survive the coronavirus recession, a top hospitality industry executive said.

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Sanphet Suphabuansathien, advisor to Thai Hotels Association Eastern Chapter, said Pattaya’s supply of hotel rooms, restaurants and attractions is greater than the demand from domestic tourists. The only ones who will survive are the ones to retune their business strategy and marketing to the needs of Thais, he said.

“We Travel Together” and “Pattaya Hot Deal” campaigns are a help and have had some good responses, but are not enough to cover costs, let alone make a profit.

“Although the government tried to help local entrepreneurs with the ‘We Travel Together’ and ‘Pattaya Hot Deal’ campaigns, Pattaya is a city with more supply than demand, leading to strong competition,” Sanphet said.

Tourism businesses in the pandemic era must stress cleanliness and safety and create new products, reduce prices and increase marketing, particularly online, he said.

Operators also need to think about the demands of Thai tourists versus foreign visitors. For example, Sanphet said, packages for families and areas taking social-media photographs would appeal more to Thais than foreigners.

Pattaya businesses also cannot just sit back and wait for tourists to arrive, as they do with international tourists. Businesses have to actively market themselves and refocus their businesses on individuals and families, not group tours.

No foreign or local buyers at the Thai markets.


Foreign residents in Pattaya are few and far between and prefer to stay in their homes.

Almost all of the restaurants are frequented by locals.

Local tourists enjoy a couple days out, but only on weekends and holidays.