PBTA complain about negative publicity

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Pattaya business leaders complained that, despite efforts they called successful to clean up Pattaya, news reports continued to “falsely” claims it is a dirty, congested city.

Chairing the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association’s Jan. 15 meeting at the Grand Sole Hotel, President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn said the association’s push to remove street vendors from the beach during the New Year’s holidays was very successful and had garnered good feedback from tourists.

(L to R) TAT Pattaya’s Assistant Director Atapol Taveesuntorn, Pol. Maj. Gen. Ampol Buarabporn, Rattanachai Sutidechanai, and PBTA President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn debate the recent negative publicity in the international media.

He also touted his group’s contributions to reorganizing beach chair vendors and reducing extortion scams by jet ski vendors.

Yet, despite all this, he complained, some international news reports continued to write that Pattaya’s beaches were polluted and about traffic congestion.

This negative publicity, he said, hurt morale among business owners that have worked hard to clean up the city. While their efforts have not been 100% successful, he said, the problems have been greatly reduced.

Chonburi Provincial Police commander Pol. Maj. Gen. Aumpon Buarubporn said one issue that remains outstanding and continues to damage tourism is the number of bar bouncers who have attacked tourists with reports that made international headlines.

Following a Jan. 13 beating of a foreigner by five security guards near Marine Disco, bar owners were warned that any further incidents would lead to a five-year closure for the venue employing the bouncers.

Bars are now required to do background checks, take photos and keep current addresses on all staff, as well as insure interior and exterior CCTV cameras are working around the clock.