The ‘Greening’ of Pattaya proposed
Pattaya is set to yet again become the focus of a plan to change it from a noted nightlife destination. The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Dasta) is currently collaborating with the Pattaya local government to look at new approaches for getting tourists into the area, but rather than attracting the late-night crowd, they are hoping to appeal more to families and those who want to spend their days exploring and experiencing the natural environment.
Of course, this idea is hardly new, although the focus on the natural, or green, environment is perhaps a newer angle. The managing director of Dasta Area 3, which includes Pattaya, is quoted as saying the city and its environs had the potential to be much more family friendly than they currently are. That said, Dasta recognizes the need to significantly upgrade and restore much of the natural environment in and around Pattaya, as well as the requirement to develop new destinations and upgrade existing tourism sites to international standards.
Although the push towards turning Pattaya into a more family-friendly destination has been operational for much of the last 15 or more years, and it has proven quite successful in many ways, the reality is that Pattaya remains largely noted for its robust nightlife and adult entertainment.
The Dasta Region 3 director believes nightlife entertainment can be contained to just Walking Street in south Pattaya, though much evidence suggests this is unlikely in the short term.
According to recent statistics, in 2010 Pattaya welcomed 8.31 million visitors who generated revenue of 73.2 billion baht. Most stayed for just over three days and spent around 3,000 baht per day per head. In 2012, Pattaya saw tourist numbers grow to 9.53 million people.
Dasta believes that by 2019 Pattaya will see 15.2 million tourists and revenue will grow to 169 billion baht with average spending jumping to around 3,300 baht per head per day over a stay of almost three and a half days.
Dasta’s so-called ‘greenovative’ tourism plan was supported by the previous government, which allocated 9.22 billion baht over an eight-year period for 76 projects for Pattaya.
The city would be divided into three tourism categories: beach destinations (such as Koh Larn, Na Jomtien, and Banglamung), residential and investment areas (including Nongprue and Nong Palai), and green tourism destinations (such as Huay Yai, Nong Palai and Khao Chi Chan).
Among the new projects being planned are bicycling routes around Khao Chi Chan and Mabrachan Lake, a mangrove forest ecology academy for Banglamung district, and promotion of the Chinese community area in Huay Yai. These are part of seven projects for which funds have been allocated for the next year.