Despite a decline in the number of foreign tourists, Pattaya’s beach chair vendors say they made more money during Songkran due a greater number of Thai faces under their umbrellas.
“There are fewer foreign tourists this year, probably due to the poor economy in the west, but there are more Thais,” said one vendor, identified only as Phan. Thais, she lamented, bring their own food and drink, costing her income. So she has supplemented her menu with coconuts, which has made up some of the loss.
The Phayommai family unanimously agreed that they’d like to return to Pattaya for Songkran next year.
Phan figures she made between 3,000 and 4,000 baht during the national Songkran holidays, April 13 and 14.
Kimluan Kanna, another vendor, said she took in almost 5,000 baht on April 13 and only saw business drop on the 16th. The only down day of the week was the 19th, when no beach chair vendor makes very much, she said.
With the larger crowds come larger amounts of trash. Phan said most of the litterbugs are older Thais. The younger ones, she said, are very conscientious about picking up after themselves. Kimluan, 61, said she appreciated efforts by the city to help keep the beach clean.
Vendors weren’t the only ones happy with Songkran on the beach. The tourists lying under the umbrellas also seemed content.
“During Songkran, we always vacation in Pattaya. The beach chair service, food and drinks are reasonably priced, so I’m sure my family will visit again,” said Paw, the head of the Phayommai family from Bangkok.