Pattaya – In a Perfect Position
Pattaya has found its niche in terms of pricing itself to both the local and the international tourist and real estate investors market and is attracting ever growing numbers. This is due in large part to its pricing policies. Pattaya hotels still offer outstanding value for money, especially during low season and when compared to Thailand’s other main vacation destinations of Phuket and Koh Samui. Accommodation on the smaller islands of Koh Chang and even Koh Samet are becoming increasingly pricey.
Samui and Phuket have all but priced themselves out of the Thai market, especially the enormous consumer base of middle class Thais living in Bangkok. For a Thai family going to Phuket or Samui, due to the fact that Thais don’t have the lengthy vacation time allowed for their Western counterparts, flying is the only realistic option as far as getting there and once they arrive the hotels are mostly in the 2,500+ region, so a short break for a young Thai family is starting to creep up to in the region of 30,000 baht. Quite a chunk from the average family budget. Compare that to Pattaya, less than a 2 hour drive from Bangkok, with hotels in the low season offering very nice accommodation at just over the 1,000 baht mark with some exceptional beaches just a short drive away. Restaurants also tend to be cheaper as are other forms of leisure and entertainment, including more sophisticated pursuits such as golf or sailing.
Capturing this huge market is crucial to having a relatively pain free ‘low season’ and Pattaya is in a perfect position to benefit. Time was, Samui was a beautiful, sleepy alternative to the islands further south, an idyllic, coconut strewn paradise of a place, with many small resorts offering bungalows right on the lovely beaches at incredible rates. These are all but gone, with the massive development that took place after the tsunami of 2004 which briefly dethroned Phuket as Thailand’s premier destination.
Pattaya also has a healthy real estate renaissance, where developers targeting foreign investors have found that studio apartments with good facilities, selling at around 1 million baht are hugely popular. The aforementioned middle class Thais are also keen on purchasing condos in or near Pattaya as a second or holiday home. During the catastrophic floods in Bangkok last year, a huge number of Thais came to Pattaya and realized just what a great place it is to live. Pattaya definitely seems to have found a niche!