Business leaders look to foreign investors, utilities improvements to boost tourism

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Pattaya business leaders say encouraging foreign investors and improving the city’s public utilities are key to increasing tourism over the next decade.

At an Oct. 12 meeting of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, board President Wiwat Pattanasin said he’d like to see a committee to plan improvements to area roadways and bolstering of utilities to make the city more environmentally friendly. He said doing so could open up the city to more tourism from senior citizens.

Former PBTA President Jamroon Vitsavachaipan said that for high seasons to remain strong the city must welcome foreign investors to open businesses in Pattaya.

(From left) Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, PBTA President Wiwat Pattanasin and past president Jamroon Vitsavachaipan preside over the latest PBTA meeting. (From left) Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, PBTA President Wiwat Pattanasin and past president Jamroon Vitsavachaipan preside over the latest PBTA meeting.

However, traditional tourism-promotion efforts remain important, the business leaders said. The public-private tourism-recovery committee, Pattaya Grand Sale and next year’s tourism “road shows” all are important ways to bring tourists and foreign investors to the city.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome said utility, roadways and infrastructure projects will hopefully spring from a 15 billion baht government proposal to develop Pattaya and its surrounding districts as a sustainable-tourism zone. The master plan, which gained preliminary approval in March, still must be budgeted for and would not go into effect until at least 2013.

The mayor said other initiatives are also underway, such as working with the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand to promote Pattaya as a destination for business meetings and conventions.