Despite Pattaya suffering through a historic recession, Tourism and Sports Ministry officials said they are hopeful the city can rebound on the strength of domestic tourism.
The ministry said the city’s proximity to soon-to-be-upgraded U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya Airport, its popularity as a location for second homes and its relatively higher earning potential all could translate to it becoming a money-making city again.
Ministry officials noted that in recent years 80 percent of people visiting Chonburi came to Pattaya. About half of those were Thai, who spent more in Pattaya – an average of 3,900 baht a day in 2019 – versus Bang Saen, an area where 95 percent of the tourists are Thai but spent only 2,400 baht a day.
Bangkok Thais also like Pattaya as a place to have a condo or second house to get away on weekends and holidays. As property prices continue to fall, more units will be snapped up by domestic buyers, the ministry predicted.
Finally, the major upgrade underway for U-Tapao will bring more domestic flights to the region, along with visitors who normally never visited Pattaya, they forecast.
All of those factors point the way to Pattaya’s economy becoming more sustainable without foreign tourists.