Democrats tout 'premium' upgrade to Pattaya City

Democrats tout 'premium' upgrade to Pattaya City

Deputy Democrat Leader Korn Chatikavanij is vowing to give Pattaya a big upgrade to "premium" tourist attraction status in his party's latest campaign promise.

The seaside city in Chon Buri is already known among tourists as a hub of entertainment, but there is still more room for development, Mr Korn said on Wednesday as he helped three Democrat candidates seek votes in the Pattaya area.

The upgrade would boost tourism and improve the financial health of people, Mr Korn, also a former finance minister, said.

Pattaya is a tourist city, so the way locals make a living will inevitably depend on tourists, he said.

The question is, Mr Korn said, how the city can gain trust from tourists so Pattaya always will be on their list of destinations and those who know the place will be happy to come back.

Referring to "premium", Mr Korn said he did not only mean projects which give natural or man-made tourism attractions a facelift, but also improvements to issues ranging from safety to the environment and transport.

Authorities must ensure both local residents and tourists enjoy easy and convenient transport across Pattaya.

One way is to further develop the GrabTaxi network in the city, the Democrat heavyweight said.

Pattaya is among seven cities which provide this ridesharing service. Others are Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Ubon Ratchathani and Khon Kaen.

Mr Korn said his party also wants to curb crime in Pattaya, especially those stemming from drug offences.

All these efforts would be aimed at making Pattaya a "quality city," he said.

The resort city upgrade is the latest promise included in the Democrats' economy booster package as it counts down to the election.

The party said it will adopt only policies that are realistic, which keep employers, workers and consumers financially happy.

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