A tourist takes a selfie at Pattaya's scenic viewpoint. The city welcomed 18 million visitors last year. WEERAWONG WONGPREEDEE
Pattaya celebrates its 60th anniversary next month and has plans for marketing campaigns and promotions throughout the year.
The Bikini Beach Race, the Pattaya Music Festival and the Pattaya International Fireworks Festival are among the activities scheduled for this year to draw tourists.
Ekasit Ngampichet, president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, expects 19-20 million visitors to Chon Buri province, mainly to Pattaya City, which receives more than 10 million tourists each year.
The number of visitors have been growing every year, from 16 million in 2017 to some 18 million last year, thanks to transport improvements that connect Pattaya City with other resort towns and the capital.
This coming Friday and Saturday, the city will host the Pattaya International Fireworks Festival on Pattaya beach, mainly to honour His Majesty the King.
Other activities such as trade meetings will also take place this year, hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Ronakit Ekasingh, deputy mayor of Pattaya, said the expansion of U-tapao airport, sitting between Chon Buri and Rayong, will bring investment to the two provinces, which are part of the Eastern Economic Corridor along with Chachoengsao province.
Steady investment to facilitate transport from other places to Pattaya is in the works, including a high-speed train with a station in Pattaya City, Mr Ronakit said.
Mr Ekasit said investment in Pattaya is on the rise, especially in the retail sector, to cash in on growing visitor traffic.
"A feasibility study for a big retail project from the shareholders of Iconsiam somewhere around the Jomtien area is being conducted," he said.
The lack of a proper wastewater treatment system at popular beaches, including Jomtien, is a pressing issue.
Mr Ronakit said Pattaya City is discussing the problem with the local municipality to build a wastewater treatment plant on-site. Experts from universities will be invited to contribute to the modelling and cost structure for the plant.
Learn from listening
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facilitate : to make it possible or easier for something to happen - ทำให้สะดวกขึ้น
feasibility study (noun): when experts study in detail what is possible to achieve in a project or whether the project is possible - การศึกษาความเป็นไป
honour : to do something that shows great respect for somebody/something - เคารพ,นับถือ, ยกย่อง
wastewater (noun): water that has been used already and thrown away - น้ำที่ใช้แล้ว, น้ำทิ้ง