With Pattaya’s bars closed for half of the past ten months, there’s never been a better time to reposition the city as offering more than just go-go bars, beer joints and ladyboy shows, the area’s top hotel boss said.
For 50 years, Thai officials and business owners have with one hand grabbed as much tourist money as they could from Pattaya’s sex industry while, at the same time, turning up their noses, arguing Pattaya should be a family-friendly destination.
Now, with the money from bars, brothels and massage parlors dried up, the push to sanitize Pattaya has taken on more urgency, as evidenced by the Disney-fication of the Walking Street sign and opening the nightlife strip to traffic to attract more Thais to restaurants and shops.
Phisut Sae-khu, president of Thai Hotels Association Eastern Chapter, said hotels are working with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and local officials to emphasize that Pattaya has more than nightlife to offer.
He said hotels are creating packages that stress morning and afternoon activities, many of which would keep people on resort properties to capture more income.
The first priority will be to promote Pattaya as a family destination to celebrate Songkran in April and to make five-star resort stays more affordable.