Pattaya businesses want weekly events to drive Thai tourism

Events like the Pattaya Bikini Run proved to be very popular not only for Thais but also for expat residents of Thailand.

Having enjoyed the success of recent fireworks and food festivals, Pattaya businesses want to see city leaders organize events every week to attract domestic tourists.

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Ekasit Ngampichet, president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, said most hotels were nearly booked solid during the fireworks fest and other events, from October’s Bikini Run and Loy Krathong to the Colors of the East festival, drew Thais and expats to the city.

Pattaya hotels, bars and restaurants were sold out during the Pattaya Fireworks Festival weekend.

Weekdays are another story, however, with occupancy rates plunging, he said.

Aside from direct tourism income to hotels and tour operators, additional people in town also drives local businesses thanks to the government’s “co-pay” scheme, which allows people to spend a couple hundred baht a day in government funds for food and small purchases up to a total of 3,000 baht a month.

With temperatures plunging in the North, Pattaya has become less popular as a winter travel destination for Thais, so even more events and efforts are needed to stoke weekend tourism, he said.

Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said December’s calendar is already set with the Pattaya Music Festival, a Pétanque competition set for next weekend, a futsal contest and Muay Thai boxing events between Dec. 18 and 23, the start of the Naklua Walk & East market Dec. 19 and Pattaya Countdown Dec. 29-31.

Bars and restaurants along Beach road were packed by locals and expats who are fortunate to be ‘stranded’ in Thailand.


Thais are still safety conscious and don’t let their guard down by wearing face masks.

Runners of all ages participated in The Pattaya Bikini Run.