Cruise ships carry big expectations for Pattaya tourism

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Laem Chabang Port has become increasingly popular as a stop for regional cruise lines, bolstering tourism officials’ hopes for the eastern economy.
Laem Chabang Port has become increasingly popular as a stop for regional cruise lines, bolstering tourism officials’ hopes for the eastern economy.

Laem Chabang Port has become increasingly popular as a stop for regional cruise lines, bolstering tourism officials’ hopes for the eastern economy.

The week of Jan. 23, the port hosted calls from liners operated by Princess Cruises, TUI and Holland America lines. While not massive, each ship still carried about 5,000 people.

The ships call in port for just a day or two maximum, but tourism officials say they could provide a significant boost in tourist income.

Atapon Taveesuntorn, assistant director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office, said the short-time visitors spend a surprising amount of money in shops, restaurants and other businesses close to the port.

Some also have purchased excursions and come to Pattaya for its many tourist attractions or just to relax at the beach.