Pattaya celebrates 60 years of tourism this month with plenty to shout about.
To mark the anniversary, the Pattaya International Fireworks Festival was held recently with a dazzling fireworks display in honor of His Majesty the King. Other activities that have been held or are being planned include the Pattaya Music Festival,the Bikini Beach Race and a range of trade meetings arranged by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Prior to the events an open competition was held to choose the best design for a logo for the anniversary. In the end there were nearly 100 submissions and the top five designs were put to a public vote on Facebook. Thanee Meuannuch won first prize of 60,000 baht with an artwork that featured dolphins, palm tries, the city’s’ skyline a water skier in actionall embedded in the design.
On the run up to the 60th anniversary, the last year has seen plenty of activity in Pattaya.
The Terminal 21 shopping complex opened barely six months ago, revitalizing an area in North Pattaya and providing a superb retail and dining experience to tourists and residents alike.
The original Amari Garden Hotel site is undergoing a complete reconstruction. New hotels are already springing up on the prime land that sits between the corner of the northern section of Pattaya’sbeach road and the dolphin roundabout.
Another major transformation has been happening on the city’s central beach itself. All of Pattaya beach, from the Dusit Thani resort down to walking street has been progressively widened under a 400 million baht scheme.
It has transformed the beach from its original width of around 5 meters to more than 35 meters. Without the operation there was a danger that coastal erosion would reduce the size of Pattaya beach even more.
The new beach looks quite stunning compared to the original one, and anyone who is returning after having been away for a year or two will certainly appreciate the difference.
The new wider beach reduces overcrowding and also means that boats and jet skis can be located further away from seating areas resulting in a more peaceful environment,all without any reduction in the fun activities that make for a great day out.
Aside from the beach-widening scheme, plans are in the works for other massive infrastructure investments in the near future. A high-speed railway with a stop in Pattaya is being planned and the process is progressing well. This will provide extremely easy access to the resort city.
U-tapao Airport is being expanded to handle more flights so that people can travel directly to Pattaya. This is part of the wider investment in the area under the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Project.
Private investment is also growing with a new retail mall potentially in the planning stages.
Ronakit Ekasingh, deputy mayor of Pattaya, was quoted as saying, “A feasibility study for a big retail project from the shareholders of Iconsiam somewhere around the Jomtien area is being conducted.”
The city has seen rising tourist numbers especially in the last few years, with the possibility of up to 20 million tourists this year, up from 16 million in 2017 and 18 million in 2018.