Pattaya launches new tourism federation
Bangkok Post Public Company Limited
The tourism and hospitality sector in Pattaya has registered a new federation to boost Chonburi’s tourism revenue, which remained lagging behind the level recorded in 2019. The Association of Chonburi Tourism Federation (ACTF) comprises 22 tourism associations, hospitality business groups, and attractions, such as the eastern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association, the Sriracha Koh Si Chang Tourism and Service Association, and the Eastern Spa & Wellness Association. Thanet Supornsahasrungsi, a former president of the Chon Buri Tourism Council and group executive director of Sunshine Hotels and Resorts, said the new federation is aimed at gathering tourism partners in Chon Buri province, including Pattaya, to tackle ongoing obstacles in the tourism industry and strengthen competitiveness in the private sector. As of September, Chonburi was the second-most visited province in the country with 17.2 million visitors, surging 82% year-on-year. Of that number, 11 million people took overnight-stay trips within the province. Overall revenue in the first nine months was recorded at 154 billion baht, a roughly 154% increase, mainly attributed to foreign visitors who spent around 92 billion baht, compared to local travellers who spent 62 billion baht. However, compared with Phuket which had fewer visitors (8.2 million), the southern province was able to generate a higher income of 263 billion baht. Sanphet Supbowornsathian, president of the Thai Hotels Association’s Eastern Chapter, said members of ACTF are groups that have been working together since the pandemic and drove the vaccination plan for tourism sector in the area as well as promoting the reopening project known as “Patty Move On”. He said the cooperation this time is meant to help local associations and private operators who don’t have networks like other larger associations in the country to voice their opinions about tourism development. Mr Sanphet said that even though the number of visitors and revenue generated in Pattaya have been increasing this year, 2023 might not gain the same level of revenue as was recorded in 2019 (276 billion baht), due to sluggish purchasing power. He said Pattaya’s tourism industry during this high season is driven by foreign markets and festive events, which could help draw Thai visitors on weekends. However, the average occupancy in November stood at only 60%, as the Chinese market was still weaker than expected.