The travel industry in Pattaya received a boost this week with the announcement that a new organisation, the Association of Chonburi Tourism Federation (ACTF), has been established to help lead the resurgence of the region’s economy.
Chonburi has had a strong 2023 – recording 17.2 million arrivals in September 2023 – to become the most popular destination in the country after Phuket.
However, despite these relatively decent numbers, the yield from travel and tourism is still below the peak levels of 2019, and the occupancy rate so far, in November, is just 60 per cent. This is due to a lower number of arrivals than forecast by government economists, a shortfall that has been blamed on the failure of recent campaigns to attract tourists, such as the slashing of visa requirements for Chinese, Indian and Russian tourists.
Speaking to reporters, the newly-elected president of the ACTF, Thanes Supornsaharungsri, explained that the objective of the newly-formed federation is to bring together tourism partners in Chonburi province, which includes Pattaya, to address the challenges currently faced by the tourism industry and enhance the competitiveness of the private sector.
Comprising more than 20 travel and tourism associations and professional groups, including Sriracha Koh Si Chang Tourism and the Thai Hotels Association (eastern chapter), the concept for the ACTF grew out of collaborative efforts from stakeholders created during the pandemic to help power innovation and unite the local industry under one united banner.
Additionally, the federation will empower small businesses with the voice and standing to contribute to discussions about the future of the region’s infrastructure and development plans.
The ACTF has already planned several initiatives to promote tourism in the province. These include the development of new tourist attractions, improved connectivity, and the promotion of eco-tourism activities that will be beneficial to the environment and local communities.