'Neo' lease of life for Koh Lan as EEC tourist hub takes shape
Pattaya City plans to turn Koh Lan, a popular island just 8 kilometres away from the shore of Pattaya, into "Neo Koh Lan", in an attempt to accommodate economic growth as Pattaya is being upgraded as a tourism and investment hub under the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme.
Pattaya mayor Sonthaya Khunpluem said the island will be promoted as a destination for quality tourism along with Koh Si Chang in Chon Buri and Koh Samet in Rayong under the Neo Koh Lan plan.
He said the development of Koh Lan will be modelled upon the Neo Pattaya plan which focuses on five areas: the economy, social development, culture, tourism and management of environment and natural resources.
"Even though Koh Lan is part of Pattaya City, it has the potential to be developed," he said. "It welcomes up to seven million tourists each year and generates large amounts of income for the country.
"We are pushing it as part of the EEC's tourism development plan."
Mr Sonthaya was speaking during a visit to the island to inspect its infrastructure, facilities, environmental management and the livelihoods of local people on the island. He also gathered opinions about the Neo Koh Lan plan.
To prepare the area for the development, he said the island's main pier which serves both cargo and passengers, will be redesigned and upgraded under a budget of two million baht.
He said the city has also been working to improve fresh water management to alleviate water shortages and upgrade the wastewater treatment system on the island.
Regarding the island's chronic waste problem, Mr Sonthaya said garbage management will be tackled in earnest now the Interior Ministry has approved construction of two garbage incinerator facilities which have a combined capacity to dispose of 60 tonnes of waste per day.