Does Pattaya Still Appeal to Westerners?

Pattaya is a city that is constantly changing and evolving and is always reaching out to try and appeal to a wider audience. Certainly, the vast numbers of tourists who come to Pattaya come from China with those from Eastern Europe coming in second. That being said, Pattaya still has its appeal to western tourists even if those living here are maybe reducing in numbers but, as we will touch upon later, this isn’t due to the city losing its appeal but down to other factors.

No one could argue that Pattaya hasn’t changed a great deal in the last decade but most of the things that attracted western tourists still remain. For instance, there are still excellent golf courses in the area with new ones being developed all the time. The bar scene still exists but is perhaps not as conspicuous as it used to be and tends to be little more concentrated. In addition, accommodation prices have remained relatively stable – definitely below the level of inflation in most countries.

Cozy 1 bedroom for sale in Centric Sea not far from the beach

Although there is perhaps some cynicism regarding TAT’s tourist figure, there figures for last 2017 (the latest available) showed that apart from Oceania, tourists numbers from around the world were increasing even if it was only by the odd percent in some cases. This certainly doesn’t suggest that Pattaya is losing its appeal as many of those tourists will come to the city even if it is only for a few days.

Of course, you could always turn the question around and ask why would Pattaya lose its appeal? There is plenty to do in and around Pattaya that stretches far beyond just the golf and the bar scene. The city has cleaned up its act in the last few years which should make it more appealing rather than less except for the few undesirables which Pattaya doesn’t want to welcome anyway! On top of all this, you have the excellent year-round climate and it is still relatively cheap compared to Europe and the US. With the expansion of U-Tapao, Pattaya is even more accessible than ever – even if you do have to take a long-haul flight.

Modern and luxury 3 bedroom pool villa for sale close to Phoenix Golf Course

To give balance we must also look at some of the negatives. The strength of the Thai baht can be a deterrent for some people whilst at the same time simply making places like Pattaya out of their price range. Some currencies have seen more than a 50% drop in their value over the last decade which inevitably makes the city far more expensive. This has less of an impact on the tourists but has hit expats quite hard especially retirees forcing them to move back to their home countries against their wishes.

On top of that, Thailand is becoming stricter with regards to all long-term visas with the retirement visa becoming far harder to obtain. Again, with the strength of the Thai baht, this is forcing long-term residents to leave as they no longer have sufficient funds in the bank. The country also faces increased competition from neighbouring countries which also potentially affects numbers. As you can see, the reason that expat numbers are dropping is not because of Pattaya losing its appeal, merely that they are being forced into a situation that most don’t want.

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