Pattaya trying to salvage New Year’s Countdown

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Pattaya city and tourism officials are still trying to salvage the New Year’s Pattaya Countdown, hoping they can find a way to stage the major high season event within the limitations of the royal mourning period.

Akapol Taweesuntorn, the assistant director at TAT Pattaya proposed that New Year Countdown should be a day where people gather and light candles to pay homage to HM the King.
Akapol Taweesuntorn, the assistant director at TAT Pattaya proposed that New Year Countdown should be a day where people gather and light candles to pay homage to HM the King.

Wasan Themsiripong, head of the Chonburi Tourist Attraction Association, met Nov. 7 with Pattaya Acting Mayor Chanapong Sriviset and heads of the local tourism, hotel and business associations.

Following the Oct. 13 death of HM the King, authorities had announced that all celebratory festivals including Loy Krathong and the Pattaya Countdown would be canceled in deference to the government’s one-year mourning period.

Loy Krathong ended up going ahead as scheduled, but in a toned-down fashion with no stage shows, loud music, fireworks or competitions. People were still permitted to float krathongs or fly lanterns.

The Pattaya Countdown – a multi-day music festival built on stage performances, loud music and fireworks – is more problematic.

Akapol Taweesuntorn, assistant director at Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya office, suggested a year-end countdown could take place, but be built around honoring the late monarch, with people lighting candles instead of raving to Thai pop music.

The group resolved to continue to brainstorm ideas, perhaps in future meetings.