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Tourism in Pattaya is much worse than even the pessimists were saying.
That is the conclusion after the Thai business media published damning statistics that showed a dramatic drop off in hotel bookings and tourists at Thailand’s premier seaside resort.
But it is not just Pattaya; the resort is a clear window on current trends that might indicate a far wider problem for the whole of Thailand’s tourism industry, noted the media.
The Chinese and South Koreans are increasingly going to Vietnam instead of Thailand. Now the last hope is seen as big spending Indian tourists whose daily expenditure is twice as much as the Chinese.
Quoting figures from deputy mayor Manote Nongyai the media reported that hotel bookings in Pattaya since the middle of October – the start of the High Season – have dropped dramatically by 20%.
It is a time when occupancy rates would normally be 100%.
A direct correlation in the drop off in hotel bookings is that there are 20% less tourists visiting Pattaya, said the media.
In 2018 a total of 14,259,261 tourists visited Pattaya, Thailand’s leading resort.
Of these 4,939,657 were Thai and 9,319,604 were foreign tourists.
Top three nationalities visiting were Chinese, South Koreans and in third Russians.
But now Chinese and South Korean visitors are down 2%, said the deputy mayor.
Many reports on the ground have indicated that Pattaya is much quieter than usual, notes Thaivisa. Though the exact extent of the problem may even have the pessimists worried further.
Many tourists are choosing to get better value for their money in Vietnam. Group dynamics are changing from solo travellers and small groups away from the large tour groups.
The world economy in general is making people more cautious as to how and where tourists spend their money.
In contrast the Indian tourism sector is showing an increase – one media outlet said that Indians were the “last hope” for tourism in Pattaya.
Indians tend to travel in groups of 20-30 and many are persuaded by relaxed visa payment and rules and other incentives.
Many come to Thailand to hold their lavish weddings.
But in a statement that will surprise many the media said that Indians spend on average a whopping 10,000 baht per person per day.
This is twice as much as the Chinese who average out at just 5,000 baht a day in comparison.