Tourists fall victim to hotel scams amidst Songkran festivities in Pattaya

Tourists, enticed by the promise of idyllic island escapes during Songkran celebrations, become victims of scams as fraudulent online bookings leave them stranded, their anticipated getaways turning into nightmares.

PATTAYA, Thailand – As the extended Songkran holiday period drew to a close on April 16, tourists began their journey back home after soaking up the sun on the islands surrounding Pattaya, infusing the Bali Hai Pier area in South Pattaya with vibrant energy. Local authorities bolstered their services during Songkran to accommodate the surge in tourists. They provided assistance and convenience to visitors at the Bali Hai pier and surrounding areas throughout the extended holiday period.

Officers stationed at the pier reported a significant influx of visitors during the holiday period from April 12 to 15. An average of 30,000 Thai and foreign tourists per day ventured to the islands for leisure and relaxation. On April 12 alone, 8,102 tourists embarked on island trips, facilitated by 42 ferry services. The following day saw a surge to 16,885 visitors with 87 ferry services, while April 14 and 15 recorded 7,462 and 9,259 visitors respectively, utilizing ferry services numbering 36 and 48. This resulted in a total of 41,708 passengers traveling to the islands over the 4-day period, with ferry fares remaining steady at 30 baht per person per trip. When accounting for speedboat trips, the total number of visitors could reach 120,000 over the 5-day holiday.

Bali Hai Pier in South Pattaya radiates vibrant energy during Songkran festivities as local authorities enhance services to cater to the influx of tourists, offering assistance and convenience throughout the extended holiday period.

However, amidst the festivities, reports emerged of dishonest individuals exploiting the high influx of tourists. Some fell victim to fraudulent accommodation bookings on the islands, where fake online booking platforms deceived tourists into transferring money for reservations that never materialized. These incidents posed challenges to Pattaya’s tourism sector during the Songkran festival.

Despite these challenges, the extended Songkran holiday proved beneficial for tourism in Pattaya, offering both locals and tourists an opportunity to unwind and revel in the festivities.