The resurgent European tourist market and the year-end music festival have pushed Pattaya hotel occupancy rates to almost 90%.
For the first time in three years, Christmas was really merry in Pattaya. The entire city bustled with tourists and Walking Street was nearly back to pre-pandemic business after being closed for two years.
Beer bars in Pattaya had both Thai and foreign tourists drinking and meeting. Bars and pubs were decorated with Christmas lights and employees dressed in Santa Claus outfits, which made entertainment venues colorful again on Christmas Day.
For safety, Pattaya and Tourist police arranged forces for facilitation and prevention of crime at high-risk points across the city. Any tourists needing help can contact officers nearby immediately.
Sanphet Suphabuansathien, president of the Thai Hotels Association (Eastern Chapter) said Europeans and an influx of Russians on charter flights have pushed occupancy rates to 60% on weekdays. Hotels are 80-90% full on weekends and holidays.
Young Thais coming for the Dec. 29-31 Pattaya countdown concert series have filled out lower-priced hotels, Samphet said.
Mayor Poramet Ngampichet said the rebounding tourist market has prompted city hall to change its marketing for 2023, focusing on Pattaya as an entertainment city aimed at all age groups and genders, from children to seniors, with activities to be planned for each group.
Pattaya’s amorphous “smart city” strategy also aims to have tourists stay longer in town and spend more money, although phone apps and technology can do that was not explained.
Preparations are nearly complex for the Countdown, although anyone attending was told they have to download a smartphone app and register to get in. Identification also will be required.