The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) has drafted a 10 year tourism plan that they hope will turn Pattaya from a resort town into a world class sustainable tourism destination.
The Mayor of Pattaya, Ittipol Khunplume, said that the 132 projects in the city and surrounding districts that were planned to be implemented between 2012 and 2022 would require a budget in the region of 15 billion baht.
Among the major projects planned are the improvement of the public transport system and a new road that would link with the existing motorway. The public transport system would include a shuttle bus service in the city centre and surrounding areas. Also in the planning is the extension of the rail link service from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya and new ports at Pattaya and Koh Larn.
The city council also has plans to improve all public utilities including the water supply, waste management, waste water, and a water recycling system. A much-needed water drainage system will be built to protect the city from flooding. There is also a plan to supply the city with renewable energy as well as beach recovery projects which will be promoting green tourism at Koh Larn and Koh Phai along with community tourism at Nakluea.
The final projects on the list are all about educating the locals about the environment. Organic farming is at the top of the list along with designated cycling areas being allocated to make it a more enjoyable and safer experience for the tourists and locals alike. The environment in all the tourist destinations in Pattaya and surrounding areas will be greatly improved.
If the plan is successful, the mayor believes that over the next decade Pattaya will see foreign tourist numbers increase from five million to 10 million and Thai nationals visiting Pattaya could rise from 2 million to 4.2 million. This would give the city increased tourism revenue of almost 250 billion baht by 2022.
The mayor added that implementing this plan would change the way many people perceive Pattaya. The city is largely regarded as a place for nightlife and the government is determined to improve this image.
He further stated that with DASTA taking over, cooperation between the public and private sectors would greatly improve and that the major projects would be completed sooner. There are plans to build three new hotels off the coast of Pattaya at Koh Larn in 15 – 20 years time. These hotels will have 30 years concessions.
Analysts had advised that if no changes were made in Pattaya, problems would arise that could affect everybody. This is why the plans are needed and will be implemented over the next 10 years. It will benefit the country as a whole as well as residents, tourists and international businesses in Pattaya.