14 Sep 2017
Around 8 million tourists travelled to Pattaya in the first half of 2017, putting the resort on a fast-track course to top last year’s total, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
TAT Pattaya office director, Suladda Sarutilavan, told media sources on Thursday that the number of visitors was up 5% on last year during the first six months, with the figure settling at about 8 million.
Tourist spending during the same period was 110 billion baht, a 15% increase over the same first two quarters last year, she said.
Ms Suladda expected the number of tourists and their spending in 2017 will surpass last year's figures. "The mid-year figures were an encouraging trend," she said.
In 2016, 13.7 million tourists visited Pattaya, shelling out 200 billion baht for accommodation and other activities during their stay.
Foreigners accounted for 65% of all tourists last year and locals 35%. China visitors dominated at 2.54 million, followed by 800,000 Russians, 600,000 Koreans, 400,000 Indians and 400,000 Germans.
"Pattaya is the most popular Thai destination for the Chinese," Ms Suladda said.
The number of tourists flocking to Pattaya is expected to continue its incline as transport networks begin their promotion campaigns which will continue for years to come, according to the tourism official.
In fact, the government is already promoting U-tapao airport as another gateway to the eastern provinces, and is also in the process of building a rail link between U-tapao and Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.
In addition, a ferry service has recently been launched, linking it across the Gulf with Cha-am in Phetchaburi, with another sea link being planned to connect Sattahip in Chon Buri and Koh Chang in Trat.
"All will help promote tourism in Pattaya," Ms Suladda said.
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