The recent announcement that one of Thailand’s richest men, Dhanin Chearavanont, head of the CP group and large scale investor, has purchased a hotel in Pattaya. He is looking for more has prompted discussion about this being the first step towards the city’s long-term recovery.
This news will do nothing but good for the confidence of other investors debating as to whether to trust in the future of Pattaya. For it is by no means the only evidence of the intentions of many of the most prominent players in the property and entertainment market, domestically and internationally, to get involved in Pattaya’s regeneration.
Dusit Groups, one of Pattaya’s best developers, has shown tremendous commitment to the city by continuing to press on with three significant projects despite being held up by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Dusit Grand Condo View, Dusit Grand Park 2 and Dusit Grand Park 3 are now on the way to being completed, and between them will comprise over two thousand units. Plus, Dusit Grand Tower on Jomtien Beach Road will most likely follow on soon after.
Then there is the Riviera Group, which has five massive projects either completed or in the process of being so in Wongamat, Jomtien, and Na Jomtien. Also, the Ramada Hotel group and several other familiar names with long and successful track records in both hospitality and residential building sectors have all stepped forward to announce their investment in the future of Pattaya.
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It would be easy to believe that with the commitment shown by these high-level companies that they must have a real insight into what will happen to the city in the future. Despite the short-term devastation of the tourist industry here brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, their continued investment in Pattaya seems an opportunity to change the city.
The new Pattaya will not be the Pattaya that many visitors have been accustomed to over the years. It seems inevitable that the city would not prosper in the future if it stayed the same. Also, many of the key investors, big family business owners, and members of city hall share a vision of how Pattaya should be regenerated, renewed, and rebranded. Their aim seems undoubted to be an aim to attract more affluent tourist and encourage more families to both visits and reside in the city. It is indeed a clear indication that Pattaya, as a destination for holidaymakers and people planning longer-term stays alike, has a bright future.
Something else that is becoming clear is the appeal that Pattaya has to the domestic market. The key to the success of this will be the plans to improve the infrastructure. Already there have many projects involving the improvements to roads, drainage, and removal of unsightly overhead cables. There has also been work undertaken to better the transport links to and from Bangkok with investment in important motorways and extensions. Then, a high-speed rail link makes the city easily more accessible from the capital when as planned. It will ensure that Pattaya appeals to the burgeoning middle class from Bangkok, both as a holiday home destination and a weekend getaway.
The transport improvements are also tied to the EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor) development. Notably, they include improvements to U-Tapao airport, allowing millions more potential domestic and international visitors to access Pattaya. Also, the upmarket residential villages preparing to house all the workers and their families.
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Even without allowing for the predictions and rumours of investment still to come into Pattaya, the city’s landscape is remodelling simply by the evidence of what can be seen right now with our own eyes; things are beginning to look quite different. It seems as though a new restaurant, beach clubs, a coffee shop is opening almost weekly. Also, we can see renovations of some of the older hotels and the building of new ones. Plus, there are continuing construction sites for many large-scale residential projects both within the city centre and surrounding areas.
All of the planned improvements to Pattaya won’t happen overnight; big business can afford to take the long term view and is doing so. Some of the firms that were part of the “old Pattaya” will suffer, as we have seen over the last year or so, but certainly, the city has to adapt to survive. Suppose Pattaya is to be able to rival other world-class destinations that are essentially its competition. In that case, all the investment and changes currently put in place and all that is still to come can only be a good thing.