Despite the severe difficulties Pattaya has faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the level of long-term investment in the city seems to be holding up remarkably well, judging by the number of new projects springing up. So why is it that, along with Bangkok, the city of Pattaya is still attracting high levels of investment?
Pattaya’s situation in relation to Bangkok must be a key factor being ideal as a second home or weekend getaway from the capital. Once just a pretty fishing village, Pattaya has grown around a wide crescent bay on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It enjoys a rare combination of being a fun beach destination with sun, sea, and sand whilst also benefiting from all the amusements, entertainments, and comforts of a big metropolis.
It is clear to see that major developers are taking the longer-term view when investing in Pattaya. The city’s proximity to the capital will be one of the main drivers of its future potential, especially with planned improvements to transport links adding to the ease of travelling between the two. Also, Pattaya’s geographical advantage at the hub of the development planned for the EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor) will be another contributory factor. Thus, a domestic market and the demand for workers in the EEC are pretty much assured.
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Another thing to consider is that if Pattaya doesn’t return as a major destination for domestic and international travellers, where will they go? Bangkok, for example, has very few choices of cities with the facilities of Pattaya to be found just 90 minutes from home. International tourists, of course, have a wide variety of options. However, Pattaya is still attractive for short-term and long-stay travellers, especially from China and Asia. They do not forget the return of the Russian market and the still millions of visitors that come from Europe and the USA every year.
Don Mueang Airport extension can accommodate more international traffic plus the global traffic that comes through Suvarnabhumi Airport. In addition, the prices of short-term holiday packages for domestic and international tourists to Pattaya will be desirable to millions of visitors in years to come.
The ongoing pandemic and its third wave dominate the news now. To think of the future development of Pattaya is difficult for the people who are suffering the short-term day-to-day effects of the current crisis. However, this pandemic will only hasten the changes that it seems we’re due to come to Pattaya anyway. Developers continue to pour their money into the city, hoping to rebound from the crisis and return to their full force as a popular worldwide destination. Even now, as you travel along Jomtien Beach, throughout both Pratumnak and Cosy Beach, or in the other direction stretching as far up as Wongamat, you can see large residential projects under construction, changing the skyline of Pattaya.
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Recently the Thai authorities began their countrywide vaccination programme, which is perceived throughout the world as the long-term solution to the pandemic. It will signal the start of the actual recovery of Pattaya, allowing it to emerge as a place better equipped to deal with the modern domestic and international travel industry. Even the city’s biggest fans would admit that a facelift and a change of emphasis to secure its ongoing prosperity is long overdue. The timing of this pandemic has just brought this change into a sharper focus. Pattaya’s reputation and its nightlife were never going to be able to sustain its long-term future. Although it seems that some parts of the city will be designated late-night entertainment areas serving a purpose as one of the reasons why people visit Pattaya, it will not be the only reason!
Although businesses are suffering now, many will survive and prosper as Pattaya evolves into a more family-friendly destination. In addition, the new money invested in Pattaya will undoubtedly ensure the city’s prosperity for a long time to come.