End of subsidy program won’t hurt Pattaya tourism – PBTA chief

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Boonanan Pattanasin, president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association said that while Pattaya may see a dip when “We Travel Together” ends, the market will rebound quickly as both Thai and foreign are waiting to see what promotions will be offered by hotels and other organizations.

The end of government tourism-stimulus programs will cause domestic travel to dip, but Pattaya’s tourism industry is now strong enough to recover, a local business leader predicted.

Boonanan Pattanasin, president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, said Dec. 1 that the fifth phase of the scaled-back “We Travel Together” program, which ends in April, has had little impact. It now only includes 40% discounts on some hotel rooms, but no break on airfares or package tours.



He said most Thai tourists don’t care much about the discounts and would travel regardless, now that the economy has improved. To date this year, there have been 154 million domestic trips, the Tourism Authority of Thailand said.

While Pattaya may see a dip when “We Travel Together” ends, the market will rebound quickly, Boonanan predicted.



He said some tourists – both Thai and foreign – are waiting to see what promotions will be offered by hotels and other organizations. Others are waiting to see if the baht will stabilize against the U.S. dollar. It has fluctuated wildly this year, but again appears to be growing stronger by the week.

More than 9 million tourists had arrived in Thailand, making it certain the country will reach its goal of 10 million this year. On Nov. 24 alone, 67,290 foreigners arrived in the country.

Overall, however, Pattaya’s tourism economy is stronger and growing with the country, Boonanan said.

TAT President Yuthasak Supasorn said that as of Nov. 30, more than 9 million tourists had arrived in Thailand, making it certain the country will reach its goal of 10 million this year. On Nov. 24 alone, 67,290 foreigners arrived in the country he said.



Malaysians, crossing the southern border, often for business, were the biggest foreign group of entrants with 1.5 million. Indians placed second with 796,485 arrivals and Laotians, another case where arrivals are mostly not tourists, came in third with 657,153.

Tourism revenue for the year, Yuthasak said, was 1.3 trillion baht, 731.8 billion baht of that from Thai domestic tourists.


Yuthasak said the average spend for foreign tourists was 60,000 baht a person during their trips.

Hotel occupancy remains sluggish during weekdays at less than 60%, but averages 80% on weekends. Major events, such as the recent Pattaya International Fireworks Festival, push bookings to nearly 100% he said.












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