Pattaya wants to clean up its sex tourism reputation

A view of Pattaya on the Gulf of Thailand. Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul
A view of Pattaya on the Gulf of Thailand. Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Pattaya tourism operators have vowed to promote family tourism, local food and Muay Thai to end its long-standing image as a hub of sex tourism.

The Association of Chonburi Tourism Federation (ACTF) president Thanet Supornsahasrungsi said most tourism operators agreed that Pattaya's nightlife image remained dominant among foreigners.

He said new, family-oriented activities needed to be promoted to keep up with independent tourism trends.

Mr Thanet said the city still has high potential to grow from its various attractions, including water parks, golf courses and Muay Thai camps.

He said in the past, Pattaya attracted a large number of retired foreigners who frequented bars for sex tourism.

However, the average tourist age is now younger and they are looking for a variety of experiences, such as Russian tourists travelling with kids, said Mr Thanet.

"It is undeniable some tourists still want to explore the nightlife, and the authorities should regulate an area for these businesses, zoning bars, clubs and adult motels within one place, as seen on Phuket's Bangla Road," he said.

"With the market trends shifting, all businesses in Chon Buri, including bars and nightclubs, must adapt to survive."

Other critical issues raised in the ACTF meeting related to traffic congestion, poor transport and flood prevention.

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  • congestion: a situation in which a place is crowded with people or vehicles - แน่นขนัดไปด้วยรถหรือคน
  • critical (adj): (of a bad situation) very serious or dangerous - รุนแรง  วิกฤต
  • dominant: more noticeable than the other parts or aspects of something - เด่น
  • hub: the central or main part of something where there is most activity - จุดศูนย์กลาง
  • oriented: mainly concerned with or directed towards -
  • potential: qualities that exist and can be developed - ศักยภาพที่จะพัฒนาได้
  • prevention: preventing something bad from happening - การป้องกันภ้ย
  • regulate: to control an activity officially by using rules - ควบคุม
  • reputation: the opinion people have about how good or bad someone or something is - ชื่อเสียง
  • retired: no longer working because you have reached the age where you are officially too old to work or you want to stop working - เกษียณอายุ
  • undeniable (adj): true or certain; that cannot be denied - ปฏิเสธไม่ได้
  • zoning (noun): when government controls how the land is used in different areas of a city or country, limiting some areas to homes, other areas to stores and yet other areas to factories - การแบ่งอาณาเขตของประเทศหรือเมืองหนึ่งๆ ออกเป็นเขตต่างๆ
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