After much hand-wringing, Mayor says high season has arrived

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Despite worries that Pattaya’s high season might be washed out by international news coverage of Thailand’s flooding crisis, Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome declared that high season finally has started and tourism is rebounding.

“Pattaya was never flooded, but news reports showing floods in Bangkok and Don Muang International Airport caused tourists to cancel reservations and Pattaya was affected by that,” Itthiphol said. “But we rushed to work with all types of agencies and businesses to brainstorm solutions to the problem.”

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome says high season is finally here. Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome says high season is finally here.

The city sent letters to foreign embassies and got the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism & Sports Ministry to help publicize that Pattaya was open for business. City hall also created a tourism-promotion video and posted it at the YouTube website and coordinated with U-Tapao Pattaya International Airport officials to arrange package tours and charter flights to bring tourists to the city.

Itthiphol said the airport was very accommodating and that most embassies gave their support to Pattaya, although some still maintain a travel advisory against all-but-essential travel to Bangkok, which continues to impact the city, he said.

“Confidence has been established amongst citizens and entrepreneurs in the city’s tourism, which is in better condition,” he said. “Cancellations have decreased and arrivals are increasing, especially among Pattaya’s major tourist market, Russia, as well as from Asia, the Middle East and Australia.”

The mayor pledged to keep up a steady schedule of tourism-promotion events, such as the Dec. 16-17 International Fireworks Competition, annual Pattaya Countdown New Year’s event and international electronics shows and tennis matches early next year.